A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Crossmaglen's Mullingar date with St Brigid's on February 16th
GAELIC GAMES:All-Ireland club football champions Crossmaglen Rangers will face St Brigids of Roscommon in the All-Ireland Club SFC semi-final at Cusack Park, Mullingar, on Saturday, February 16th at 2pm.
Dr Crokes will take on Ballymun Kickhams in the other semi-final on the same day at 4pm in Thurles.
Sunday, January 27th
All-Ireland Club IFC semi-finals: Charlestown Sarsfields (Mayo) v Cookstown Fr Rocks (Tyrone), Pearse Park, Longford, 2pm – extra-time if necessary; Finuge (Kerry) v Monasterevan (Kildare), Gaelic Grounds, Limerick – extra-time if necessary.
All-Ireland Club JFC semi-finals: Ballinasloe (Galway) v An Port Mór (Armagh); Breffni Park, 2pm – extra-time if necessary; Castleknock (Dublin) v Kenmare Shamrocks (Kerry), Mitchelstown, 2pm – extra-time if necessary.
Saturday, February 16th
All-Ireland Club SFC semi-finals: St Brigid’s (Roscommon) v Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh), Cusack Park, Mullingar, 2pm – extra-time if necessary; Dr Crokes (Kerry) v Ballymun Kickhams (Dublin), Thurles, 4pm – extra-time if necessary.
O'Brien and Stirling signed up in Bangladesh Premier auction
CRICKET:Ireland’s big hitters proved popular in yesterday’s Bangladesh Premier League auction as Kevin O’Brien and Paul Stirling both signed lucrative contracts for the upcoming Twenty20 event.
O’Brien, scorer of the fastest century in World Cup history, was picked up by new franchise Rangpur for a fee of €34,000, while opening bat Stirling was signed by Sylhet Royals for €22,666.
The players receive all the money for a tournament that lasts three weeks and will get under way on January 17th.
The Irish duo were the only Associate players picked at the auction, with Kevin’s older brother Niall, who played in last year’s inaugural staging, missing out.
Niall O’Brien was dropped from the Ireland team for the first half of last year after playing in the BPL instead of touring Africa with Ireland.
Australian Open prize money up
TENNIS:The Australian Open organisers yesterday announced they would increase prize money for the early losers at the opening grand slam of the season to record levels, a move likely to quell player unrest and end talk of a strike.
The Melbourne event will now pay more prize money per round than any other tournament. The biggest increases were for first round losers in the men's and women's singles, who will now receive A$27,600 (€22,000) each, 32.7 per cent up on 2012, with those exiting in the second round getting €34,500, up 36.6 per cent.
The move is likely to appease the players' council, which had been calling for more revenue from the grand slams to be passed down to those hitting the shots.