SPORTS DAY: Uruguay sweat over Cavani’s fitness

Sport

SPORTS DAY: Uruguay sweat over Cavani’s fitness

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Journalist

SOCCER
‘Cavani’s potential absence a big blow for Uruguay’
Edinson Cavani’s potential absence for Uruguay would be a severe blow to their hopes of beating France in the World Cup quarterfinals, according to his former teammate and French midfielder Blaise Matuidi. While striker Cavani battles to be fit after sustaining a calf injury, Matuidi misses out for France on Friday because of suspension. “Uruguay without Cavani is not the same thing. You don’t easily replace one of the best attackers in the world. It would be a handicap for them,” said Matuidi, Cavani’s former teammate at Paris St Germain.
Confident Swedes relishing England showdownAn increasingly confident Sweden are relishing the prospect of a World Cup quarterfinal clash against England after displaying the best of their battling qualities in a 1-0 win over Switzerland in Tuesday’s Round of 16 tie. “Bring them on. Most of them have respect for us and we feel secure regardless of who we meet,” striker Marcus Berg said.
PSL board to meet on Thursday
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has called an urgent executive committee meeting on Thursday to find a solution to Monday’s court decision that threw the start of the coming league season into serious doubt. Judge Denise Fisher granted an order that effectively reinstated Ajax Cape Town into the PSL after the Urban Warriors were initially relegated a few weeks ago.
Ronaldo linked to Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo has received an offer to leave Real Madrid and join Italian champions Juventus, a source close to the player said on Wednesday. Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record £80-million, is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions.
England’s penalty shootout drama reels in viewers 
The largest British audience for a live sporting event since the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics watched England’s dramatic penalty shootout with Colombia as Gareth Southgate’s team reached the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. English commercial broadcaster ITV, which shares the live rights with BBC, said 23.6 million viewers tuned in for five minutes of the shootout in Moscow. The 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony on the BBC drew 26.3 million television viewers. Tuesday’s match fell some way short of the 26.2 million who watched England’s semifinal shootout against West Germany in 1990.
TENNIS
Venus survives scareFive-time champion Venus Williams overcame a slow start to defeat Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6 6-0 6-1 in nearly two hours for her 89th match victory at Wimbledon. “She played well the first set. I don’t know if I’ve ever played her before which is tough,” said Williams, who booked her place in the third round for the 18th time.
RUGBY
NZ captain Read to return
All Blacks captain Kieran Read will return to the Canterbury Crusaders lineup for their Super Rugby clash against the Otago Highlanders on Friday after recovering from back surgery. The 32-year-old back-rower underwent a medical procedure late last year to correct a bulging disc in his back that was causing chronic leg pain.
CYCLING
Security blanket for riders at Tour de France
Over 30,000 security agents will be deployed to protect riders during the Tour de France, said organisers after the head of world cycling called for a safe environment for  British rider Chris Froome. The world’s biggest cycling race starts on Saturday, just days after four-time champion Froome was cleared of doping suspicions by the. In a post on his Twitter account, Union Cycliste Internationale head David Lappartient said: “I have heard calls, sometimes completely irrational, to violence on the Tour de France.”
KAYAKING
Kiwi finishes epic solo Tasman voyage
A New Zealand adventurer has become the first person to kayak the Tasman Sea solo after a gruelling two-month voyage that saw him pestered by a shark and battling “washing machine” conditions. Scott Donaldson, 48, set off from Australia’s Coffs Harbour on May 2 and after a 2,200km journey paddled ashore at New Plymouth, on New Zealand’s North Island late Monday night.
CRICKET
‘Lethal’ Yadav key for India — KohliIndia captain Virat Kohli believes “lethal” left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will have a pivotal role to play during the rest of his side’s tour of England. Yadav produced a man-of-the-match display as he finished with 5-24 in India’s emphatic eight-wicket win over England in the first Twenty20 international at Old Trafford.
Pakistan knock hosts Zimbabwe out of tournament
Pakistan knocked Zimbabwe out of the Twenty20 tri-series in Harare in a closely-fought encounter on Wednesday, beating the hosts by seven wickets with five deliveries to spare. Pakistan face Australia in the final on Thursday.
MOTOR SPORT
Hamilton ready for record six at Silverstone
Silverstone can provide the antidote to Austria for Lewis Hamilton this weekend, with a record sixth British Grand Prix win — and his fifth in a row — there for the taking. The reigning F1 world champion has been unbeatable in front of his home crowd in recent years and is firm favourite to continue that success and retake the overall lead from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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