Sports Digest


A round-up of the other news in brief

Sri Lanka issue Sehwag apology

CRICKET:Today’s third Test sees England and Pakistan renew hostilities at the Oval for the first time since the dramatic forfeited Test in 2006.

Pakistan refused to take the field after being docked five runs for ball tampering by the umpires and by the time they changed their mind the game had been ended.

Andrew Strauss was captaining that day in the absence of Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff and is delighted he has never had to face such trying circumstances again.

He recalled: “It was like watching a train wreck, we were basically spectators but we obviously knew there was something pretty massive brewing there, something we had no ability to control. It was obviously not a good day for the game of Test cricket, no one likes to see it in the news for the wrong reasons and thankfully we haven’t had any situations like that in the recent past.”

Morrissey knocks out fourth seed

YOUTH OLYMPICS:John Morrissey from Donnybrook Tennis Club produced the performance of his life and the shock of the day to defeat the number four seed Duilio Beretta of Peru 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) at the first World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore yesterday.

It was an outstanding achievement for the youngster and means that Morrissey has qualified for the Youth Olympic Games tennis quarter finals. His next opponent is the worlds number one junior in 2009, Yuki Bhambri from India, a junior grand slam winner who trains at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in Florida.

Denise Walsh from Skibbereen finished sixth in her singles sculls semi-final and subsequently qualified for the B final on Thursday, which guarantees her a top 12 finish in the rowing section of the Games.

Da Ros ban cut to four years

CYCLING:Italian cyclist Gianni Da Ros has had a 20-year doping ban cut to four years on appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said yesterday.

CAS, sport’s highest tribunal, said the ban would be backdated to start in March last year, meaning that the 23-year-old has just over two and a half years still to serve. Da Ros was one of 11 people arrested by police in March last year after a long-running investigation.

England and Pakistan back at scene of Oval debacle

CRICKET:Sri Lanka have apologised to India opener Virender Sehwag after he was denied a century by Suraj Randiv’s no-ball in their tri-nations one-dayer at Dambulla on Monday.

Needing one run for his century, Sehwag smacked the final delivery of the match off Randiv for a six but the umpire signalled a no-ball. India won the match by six wickets but Sehwag was left on 99.

Sri Lanka secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said they were taking a very serious view of the incident and that he had spoken to Indian team manager Ranjib Biswal.

“We have initiated an inquiry into the incident and called for a report from team manager Anura Tennekoon before taking further course of action,” said Ranatunga.

Biswal said that since India had received an apology they considered the matter closed.

After the match Sehwag had accused Randiv of deliberately bowling the no-ball.

Ireland denied by last-minute goal

YOUTH OLYMPICS:A last-minute goal from New Zealand denied the Irish under-17 hockey team a draw in their second pool game at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore yesterday. Ireland twice came from behind, Kathryn Mullan levelling in the 22nd minute after New Zealand had taken an early lead when Rebecca Barry converted a penalty corner four minutes from time soon after Rhiannon Dennison had scored her second of the game.

Another corner, though, was put away by Elley Miller in the dying seconds of the contest, leaving Ireland still without a point in their pool. Una McCarthy, the Irish coach, said: “This is the best performance I have ever seen in years and years of junior Irish matches. The girls were magnificent.” Their next opponents are Argentina (tomorrow), before they complete their pool campaign against Korea (Friday) and South Africa (Sunday).

Blake to consider his future

TENNIS:Former world number four James Blake, who has slumped to outside the top 100, says he will take a break from the sport after the US Open and may assess his future in tennis.

The American’s decline continued with a 6-3,6-0 loss to Russian Denis Istomin in just 45 minutes at the Cincinnati Masters yesterday. “I didn’t have my best, or even close to my best. I haven’t felt prepared for a tournament for a long time thanks to a lot of injuries,” Blake said after a listless second-set display. “I’ve felt like things have been getting better, and then you get setback after setback and it takes its toll.”

The 30-year-old, ranked 107th in the world, has battled a range of injuries over the past 18 months, including nagging soreness to his knee, shoulder and hamstring.