SPORTS DAY: That's my innings, says AB de Villiers

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SPORTS DAY: That's my innings, says AB de Villiers

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CRICKET
AB quits international cricket
And just like that‚ with neither a bang‚ a whimper nor a tear‚ AB de Villiers was gone, retired from all cricket except that played by the Titans. Some call it quits in emotionally charged rooms filled with their teammates and reporters. Others are carried out of the game forever on stretchers. De Villiers announced that he was done in a slickly produced video on his own app that blipped into being on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not about earning more somewhere else. It’s about running out of gas and feeling that it’s time to move on. “Everything comes to an end,” he said.
New sponsor for Australia after scandal 
Cricket Australia have signed a four-year agreement with energy provider Alinta Energy, potentially laying to rest concerns over a financial fallout from the ball-tampering scandal in March. The West Australian company will become the men’s national team’s shirt sponsor across all three formats for home matches. Financial terms were not disclosed.
England with much to prove in home Tests 
A toothless bowling attack, brittle opening batting partnership and callow spin options leave England with much to prove in seven home tests against Pakistan and India starting on Thursday. Joe Root will lead out the side at Lord’s in the first of two matches against Pakistan, desperate to put behind him a heavy Ashes defeat in Australia and a rare loss to New Zealand, which have left England in a state of flux and fifth in the world Test rankings.
SOCCER
‘Neutral venue could work against Liverpool’
Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer believes the lack of an “Anfield factor” at the Champions League final will give an experienced Real Madrid side a slight advantage when they face the Merseyside club in Kiev on Saturday. Playing the decider as a one-off game at a neutral venue could, says the ex-Republic of Ireland World Cup defender, give the 12-time champions the upper hand when they take on Juergen Klopp’s side this weekend. “I’m a bit apprehensive,” McAteer, who spent four seasons at Anfield from 1995, said. “I had been quietly confident. Against Man City and Roma I thought they were excellent and I know everybody says in a one-off game Liverpool can beat anybody, but so can Real Madrid. “I think a two-legged affair psychologically is better for Liverpool. I always think Liverpool at Anfield, certainly this season where they’ve been unbeaten in the league, they’ve got a great advantage.”
Arsenal appoint ‘progressive’ Emery
Arsenal announced former Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery as their new boss on Wednesday, handing him the daunting task of revitalising a club that has slipped well behind their Premier League rivals. The Spaniard, who won the domestic treble with PSG this season, emerged as the shock favourite to replace Arsene Wenger this week after it had appeared former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta was in line to land the job at the Emirates. Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the decision to appoint the former Valencia and Spartak Moscow boss had been unanimous.
RUGBY
Mitchell gives Bulls hairdryer treatment
Bulls lock RG Snyman has revealed that coach John Mitchell let it rip at the players during their team meeting following the dismal 54-24 loss to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last weekend. “It was one of our toughest team meetings so far with coach John Mitchell, but it was fair for him to be like that‚” Snyman said at Loftus as they turned their attention to the Brumbies. “We just have to fix things this week.”Folau won’t be distraction, says Cheika
Israel Folau’s anti-gay sentiments won’t be a distraction during the Test series against Ireland, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika insisted on Wednesday as he demanded a high work rate from his side. Cheika said it would not be issue when the Wallabies take on the Six Nations champions in three Tests next month, suggesting Folau could be ready to refrain from posting divisive views. “It’s not going to be an issue, because it’s not going to be ongoing. You can interpret it how you like,” Cheika said in Sydney.
MOTOR RACING
Red Bull can celebrate 250th race with win
Former champions Red Bull can scoop the jackpot in Monaco this weekend as they celebrate the team’s 250th Formula One race start. The most glamorous grand prix on the calendar, with its historic track winding past the 19th-century casino and along the harbourside, could favour Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. “We don’t head into the weekend as favourites – they are Red Bull and Ferrari,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff warned ahead of the sport’s showcase event.
MOUNTAINEERING
Hillary Step now a ‘slope’: climbers 
Mount Everest’s Hillary Step – a rocky outcrop just below the summit – is now a slope, say climbers who recently returned from the mountain. The condition of the rock face named after Everest’s first summiteer Edmund Hillary has been the subject of intense speculation since climbers declared it had gone last year. Others disagreed, saying fresh snowfall had caused the confusion. Mountaineers returning from the summit this month have unanimously said that what was once a near-vertical 12m rock face is now a gradual snowy slope and makes the final ascent quicker and easier.
SURFING
Morocco’s women ride out waves and harassment 
Moroccan women surfers have become a common sight as they skim the waves off the coast of the capital, Rabat, but they still can face prejudice and harassment back on land.   “It’s easier in the winter because the beaches are empty,” said surfer Meriem, 29, who, like most of the women surfers, wears a wetsuit. “In the summer we suffer a lot of harassment, that’s why we pay attention to what we wear,” said the  engineer, who took up the sport four years ago.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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