A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Pietersen returns to England side to face India A
CRICKET:Kevin Pietersen’s England exile following a controversial text-message row will end today when he plays against India A in a three-day match. The flamboyant middle-order batsman was dropped for the third and final Test against South Africa at Lord’s in August after he admitted sending provocative texts to the opposition.
“Kevin will play tomorrow and bat at number four,” England coach Andy Flower told reporters in Mumbai.
Pietersen had been left out of the touring party but earlier this month he was added to the squad following meetings with Flower, captain Alastair Cook and other senior players and members of the management team.
Meanwhile, The third umpire will be called upon to check for a no-ball after dismissals as part of a series of amendments to the rules of cricket due to come into force today, the ICC said yesterday.
Previously, the third umpire would only be asked to adjudicate if a decision was referred to him by the on-field officials, but will now immediately check the fairness of a delivery “following any mode of dismissal that is not permitted off a no-ball”.
Higgins exits early from China event
SNOOKER:John Higgins suffered a shock 6-3 defeat against Cao Yupeng in the first round of the International Championship in Chengdu, China, yesterday. Higgins, looking to complete a double in China after triumphing in the Shanghai Masters last month, was sluggish throughout and despite taking a 2-0 lead with breaks of 71 and 73, Cao fought back to take the next five frames.
The four-time world champion looked to be on the comeback trail when he clinched the next – missing out on a 147 in the process after failing to pot the 11th red – but his 22-year-old opponent held his nerve.
Cao will next take on either Mark Allen or Robert Milkins in the last 16.
After being defeated in the first round of this year’s World Championship, Allen accused the Chinese of dishonesty, claiming Cao failed to declare an illegal push shot when leading 5-4.
Elsewhere, world number one Mark Selby saw off Ali Carter 6-3 and will next meet Ricky Walden or Lu Ning.
Wiggins awarded third place in 2009 Tour de France
Bradley Wiggins has been awarded third place in the 2009 Tour de France after Lance Armstrong’s result was wiped from the record books, the International Cycling Union has confirmed. Wiggins, who won the 2012 Tour, placed a then British record-equalling fourth three years’ ago behind Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Armstrong. Now, after the UCI stripped Armstrong of all results from August 1st, 1998, ratifying a ruling by the United States Anti-doping Agency, Wiggins is a two-time Tour podium rider.
The UCI ruled last week Armstrong’s sequence of seven successive Tour wins would not be reallocated and results following any future disqualifications relating to 1998 to 2005 would not be reallocated, but those from his comeback years, in 2009 and 2010, will. A UCI spokesperson said: “In 2009 the placing of Mr Armstrong will be reallocated. Bradley Wiggins is the third-placed rider for the Tour de France, 2009.”