SPORTS DAY: KG and the demerit gang have to behave
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Stars labour under a cloud of demerits
A sad‚ scarred shadow will hang over Newlands from the instant South Africa and Australia take the field on Thursday and will remain gloomily in place until the end of the third Test. It will have nothing to do with the weather. It will‚ instead‚ have to do with the fact that three major players in the match are one demerit point away from a ban. Kagiso Rabada‚ who escaped that fate on Tuesday thanks to a successful appeal of his punishment for bumping shoulders with Steve Smith during the second test at St George’s Park‚ is the newest member of this sorry club. David Warner was signed up for screaming at Quinton de Kock all the way up the dressing room stairs during the first Test at Kingsmead. Faf du Plessis‚ the founder of the club‚ has been one wrong step away from a suspension since he was done for ball-tampering in Australia in November 2016.
ECB to allow replacements for concussed players
Teams across all four professional domestic cricket competitions in England will be allowed to replace concussed players during matches, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Wednesday after it approved rule changes for the new season. The incoming player, who will be allowed to bat and bowl, must be deemed a “like for like” replacement by the Cricket Liaison Officer appointed for the match, or by the on-field umpires if the board’s representative is not present.
Heyneke to take over at Stade Francais
Former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will take over at Stade Francais next season after signing a two-year contract with the option of a further year, the Paris club said. Meyer will move next month to observe the end of the current campaign and prepare for the 2018-19 season, the club added. It is the first job for the 50-year-old since he quit as Springboks coach after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where South Africa finished third.
Gloucester sign Marais
English Premiership side Gloucester have confirmed the signing of South African hooker Franco Marais from Super Rugby’s Sharks for the 2018-19 season on Wednesday. Marais was part of the South Africa squad that won the World Rugby Under-20 Championship on home soil in 2012, before going on to make his Sharks debut that season in the Currie Cup.
England chiefs back Eddie Jones
England rugby chiefs gave their backing to coach Eddie Jones on Wednesday despite the side’s disappointing fifth-place finish in the Six Nations. Ireland were crowned Grand Slam champions with a 24-15 victory at Twickenham on Saturday that condemned the hosts to a third consecutive defeat and their worst tournament performance since 1987. “Eddie and his coaches have my confidence and the measure of how good they are and can be will be how they respond to these tough times,” said Rugby Football Union chief executive Steve Brown.SOCCER
Spain’s Alonso faces prison term
Spanish prosecutors have called for Xabi Alonso to be sentenced to five years in prison after the former Real Madrid and Liverpool midfielder was accused of tax fraud. The Madrid prosecution office announced on Wednesday it was seeking the sentence for an alleged fraud of €2-million between 2010 and 2012. It is claimed Alonso used a company based on the Portugese island of Madeira to avoid declaring income earned from the 36-year-old’s image rights. As well as the five-year imprisonment, a fine of €4-million is held against Alonso, his tax advisor Ivan Zaldua and the manager of the Portuguese company, Ignasi Maestre.
Tonga bans girls playing rugby, boxing
Tonga’s government has banned girls from participating in rugby and boxing, drawing criticism from two-time Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams and New Zealand’s proudly feminist Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The government edict came to light last week when a team of girls from Tonga High School were pulled from a touch rugby tournament because of their gender. A letter from the Pacific nation’s education department said the ban was to “preserve the dignity of Tongan women and hold on to Tongan cultural values”, according to a translation published by the Matangi Tonga news website.
Alvarez is a dope cheat, says Golovkin
World middleweight boxing king Gennady Golovkin accused rival Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of doping on Tuesday, rubbishing the Mexican fighter’s claims that he had failed a recent drugs test due to contaminated meat. In explosive comments to reporters at his secluded mountain training camp in Big Bear, east of Los Angeles, Golovkin said Alvarez had benefited from preferential treatment throughout his career by authorities in Nevada, where the two men will fight in a much anticipated rematch on May 5. Alvarez earlier this month was revealed to have tested positive for clenbuterol, which his promoters blamed on consumption of drug-tainted meat in his native Mexico. The Golovkin and Alvarez camps are awaiting a formal ruling on the case from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but the fight is expected to go ahead.