SPORTS DAY: How Vinnige Fanie bust the Aussies
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Vinnige Fanie was wise to ball-tampering
Former Protea cricket player Fanie de Villiers tipped off the cameramen to be on the lookout for possible ball tampering in the third Test between South Africa and Australia. “We actually said to our cameramen: ‘Go out. Have a look boys. They are using something.’ It’s impossible for the ball to get altered like that on [a] cricket wicket where we knew there is a grass covering on. It’s not a Pakistani wicket where there’s cracks every centimetre‚” De Villiers said in an interview with Australian radio station RSN927. “They searched for an hour and a half until they saw something and then they started following (Cameron) Bancroft.”
Sponsors put Australian cricket on notice
Australia’s major cricket sponsors, including Qantas Airways, Weetbix maker Sanitarium and brewer Lion, said on Monday they were assessing their relationship with the country’s favourite pastime as the fallout from a ball-tampering scandal escalates. The incident, which Australian captain Steve Smith said involved senior players hatching a plan to tamper with the ball, also threatens to upset current negotiations over broadcast rights. The sentiment was mirrored by other commercial partners in Australia, including apparel sponsor Asics, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, insurer Bupa, Specsavers, and Toyota.
Players protest police shootings
Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics players, in a protest backed by the National Basketball Association, took to the court on Sunday wearing warm-up T-shirts emblazoned with the name of the unarmed black man slain last week by Sacramento police. The squads of both teams took part in the pre-game show of support for civil rights activists denouncing last Sunday’s shooting death of Stephon Clark and the killing of numerous other African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement in recent years. Seventeen players from the two teams also appeared in a public service message that was played on the giant jumbotron TV screen inside the Kings’ home arena at Golden 1 Center during a time-out in their matchup on Sunday.MOTORSPORT
Stung Mercedes team vow to bounce back
Mercedes have vowed to bounce back in Bahrain next month after throwing away Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix to Ferrari, with team boss Toto Wolff admitting it was tough to take. Sebastian Vettel got the jump on world champion Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes blundered their calculations on the Ferrari ace’s pit stop under Virtual Safety Car conditions. It’s a defeat that sticks in the craw of Mercedes and team principal Wolff, who is determined the champion team will not repeat the same error again.
Lucky fluke nets Ji a car
South Korea’s Ji Eun-hee won two cars on Sunday, one thanks to a hole-in-one, the other for earning a victory in the Kia Classic at Carlsbad, California. Ji aced the 14th hole during a 5-under-par 67, and she wound up at 16-under 272 at Aviara Golf Club.
Checkmate or knockout?
With his dental guard still in his mouth and a slightly queasy feeling in his gut, a shirtless Thomas Cazeneuve was exuberant after checkmating his opponent during a chess boxing bout in Berlin, the world capital of the unusual sport. Just as deft in the movement of his rooks as with his fists, Cazeneuve claimed victory against his Ukrainian challenger after seven alternating rounds of boxing and chess. The match played out before a crowd of curious onlookers drawn to the spectacle of the so-called “Intellectual Fight Club”. Chess boxing was born 16 years ago when its founder Iepe Rubingh brought to life a seemingly far-fetched idea from a French graphic novel, Cold Equator, by Enki Bilal. Today, Rubingh has set his sights on introducing chess boxing to the Olympics.
Officials call for action in face of rising injury toll
Leading rugby officials have called for urgent action to try to halt the rising tide of injuries, particularly concussion, as rule changes to make the professional game faster and more open have led to an increase in collisions. The 2016-2017 Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project showed injuries in the Premiership and among England internationals have risen on last season, and stand slightly above the average since the annual survey began in 2002. Changes to the game’s laws and their interpretation have meant a rise in the number of tackles in a match, with more of them being high-speed “hits” that cause many of the injuries described in the report.