SPORTS DAY: Proteas coach rattled by AB’s retirement

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SPORTS DAY: Proteas coach rattled by AB’s retirement

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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CRICKET
Gibson shocked by AB leaving international game
Ottis Gibson tried hard on Monday to find the positive needles in the haystack of negativity that was dumped on cricket when AB de Villiers announced his retirement from the international arena last week — just more than a year before the World Cup in England. Even so‚ South Africa’s coach couldn’t avoid using words like “disappointing” and “mourning” in his public reaction to De Villiers’ decision. “The announcement came as a shock to me but we had a conversation — he called me the morning before the announcement and told me what he was planning to do‚” Gibson said.
Pakistan fined for slow over-rate
Pakistan have been fined for a slow over-rate in their first Test win over England at Lord’s. Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been fined 60% of his match fee, with the rest of the players fined 30%.
England recall JenningsEngland have recalled Keaton Jennings in place of struggling opener Mark Stoneman for the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley starting on Friday. That was the only change to a 12-man squad announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board on Monday after Pakistan went 1-0 up in this two-match series with an emphatic nine-wicket win completed inside four days at Lord’s. Stoneman managed just 13 in total in his two innings during the first Test. Jennings averaged a lowly 24.50 following the last of his six Tests — against his native South Africa at Old Trafford in August last year, after which he was replaced by Stoneman. But 25-year-old Jennings has made a strong start to the first-class County Championship, with two hundreds for new side Lancashire, the club he joined from Durham.
‘Age just a number’ for Dhoni’s IPL champs 
Mahendra Singh Dhoni said fitness was more important than youth as he celebrated winning the Indian Premier League at the age of 36 — and looked increasingly good for a fourth World Cup next year. Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings drew criticism for picking ageing warriors in the IPL auction, but the 30-somethings easily triumphed over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Sunday’s final.
TENNIS
Wawrinka crashes out at Roland GarrosFormer French Open champion Stan Wawrinka continued to struggle with form and fitness as he was dumped out in the first round by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Monday, a defeat which will send his world ranking plummeting, but Novak Djokovic cruised through in straight sets. Wawrinka, who lost to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final and won the 2015 title, was beaten in a five-set thriller 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 by the Spanish world number 67.
SOCCER
R45-million bid for Celtic
Bloemfontein Celtic have a serious bidder offering some R45-million for the club and with plans to move it to Kimberley‚ according to club insiders‚ but others in local soccer circles are pouring cold water on the idea. Celtic — one of the country’s best supported teams and a founder member of the old National Professional Soccer League in 1971 — are up for sale after owner Max Tshabalala admitted he had run into financial difficulties and wanted to sell the club. The team’s MTN sponsorship is now also up and will not be renewed‚ effectively costing the club some R21-million a year.
BASKETBALL
LeBron carries Cavs back to Finals 
LeBron James squeezed every last ounce of effort from his misfiring Cleveland team mates on Sunday to lead the Cavaliers back to the NBA Finals with an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in their Game Seven Eastern Conference decider. The 33-year-old has reached the Finals for the eighth consecutive season but this campaign may be his crowning glory. The three-time NBA champion said he had focused on getting the best out of his team mates all season long. “I tried to squeeze the orange until there was no more juice,” James told reporters after logging 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists while playing all 48 minutes of the series finale.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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