SPORTS DAY: Oof! Only KG from SA cracks the ICC nod

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SPORTS DAY: Oof! Only KG from SA cracks the ICC nod

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sunday Times sports editor


CRICKET
Rabada the only SA player in ICC Test team
You might think the Test team ranked second by the International Cricket Council would crack a fair few nods in the ICC’s “Test team of the year”. SA are that second-placed team‚ but in the ICC XI announced on Tuesday only Kagiso Rabada has earned a place. Part of the explanation is that the year in review was 2018 – and that they were in fourth place going into their series against Pakistan‚ which started on December 26. Faf du Plessis’ team won six of the 10 Tests they played last year and lost the other four. The top side in the rankings‚ India‚ have three players in the side and one of them‚ Virat Kohli‚ is the captain. India’s record in 2018? Won six Tests‚ lost seven. There are also three players in the team from New Zealand‚ who are fourth in the standings‚ but none from England‚ who are third.
RUGBY
Sharks captain has a score to settle with Super Rugby
Newly appointed Sharks Super Rugby captain Louis Schreuder says they have a score to settle with Super Rugby this year after their underwhelming display in 2018. Last season the Sharks flattered to deceive for the better part of their campaign and narrowly scraped through to the playoffs. They found themselves having to travel to Christchurch for a quarterfinal date against eventual champions the Crusaders. They were handsomely beaten 40-10 by Scott Robertson’s charges‚ who went on to beat the Lions in the final at home two weeks later. “This year we want to take it a step further and I think we have the squad and the team to do so‚” Schreuder said.
Lambie tells why he decided to quit rugby
For Pat Lambie‚ the time it took for him to recover from concussion-related injuries informed his decision to retire at the age of 28. Lambie‚ who represented the Springboks in 56 Tests between 2010 and 2016‚ was forced to leave the game because of repetitive concussions and the ensuing symptoms. Lambie said he suffered a head knock against Munster in April last year and the effects of that injury remained with him. “I had a concussion on December 30 2017 and from there I had 40 days of post concussion symptoms and even when I was playing‚ I didn’t realise it at the time but I wasn’t feeling at my best. Since the knock in April‚ it’s almost nine months later‚ and I’m still experiencing symptoms and I guess it made the decision a little bit easier.” BOXING
Pacquiao on the mend after scratched cornea
The eye injury Manny Pacquiao suffered in a unanimous-decision win over Adrien Broner is a scratched cornea, and the Filipino ring icon is already on the mend, a spokesman for Pacquiao’s camp said. Pacquiao retained the World Boxing Association “regular” welterweight world title – the lesser of two WBA welterweight belts to that of unbeaten US “super champion” Keith Thurman. The eye injury was possibly caused by loose tape on Broner’s gloves.
ATHLETICS
Malaysia PM cites Trump to ban Israeli athletes
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday defended Malaysia’s ban on Israeli athletes, likening it to US President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Malaysia sparked a row with Israel after saying it would not allow Israeli swimmers to compete in a tournament later this year that serves as a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. “Every country has the right to accept or refuse entry of anybody,” said Mahathir. “You can see that in America now they are erecting a very high wall to prevent Mexicans from going to America. We have the same idea, that people who are undesirable for our country will be kept out of our country.”
SOCCER
Ronaldo hit by hefty fine for tax fraud in Spain
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo avoided jail on Tuesday but was ordered by a Spanish court to pay €3.57m for committing tax fraud when he was at Real Madrid. The court sentenced him to a two-year jail sentence that it immediately reduced to a fine of €365,000 euros, which adds on to another penalty of €3.2m, the sentence read.
Cardiff striker feared dead after plane disappears
Premier League club Cardiff City’s record new signing, Argentine striker Emiliano Sala, is missing presumed dead after a light aircraft he was travelling in disappeared over the English Channel. Sala, signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of €17m, was flying to Cardiff aboard a small plane that disappeared from radars around 20km north of Guernsey on Monday night. French civil aviation authorities confirmed that 28-year-old Sala “was on board the plane”. It is thought there was one other passenger on the aircraft.
Zesco coach now eyeing a job in the PSL
In a humorous hint‚ Zesco United coach George Lwandamina has said he would welcome a job in the Premier Soccer League. Lwandamina‚ the big‚ 55-year-old 1980s Zambia international‚ was the architect of Zesco’s run to the 2016 Caf Champions League semifinals‚ where they lost against tournament winners Mamelodi Sundowns. This past fortnight – having left Zesco in November 2017‚ and returned in April last year – he has now also been the architect of Kaizer Chiefs’ exit from the Caf Confederation Cup‚ with a 5-2 aggregate victory completed by Saturday night’s 2-1 away leg win at FNB Stadium.
TENNIS
Nadal puts Tsitsipas in crosshairs Ruthless Rafael Nadal brutally swatted aside a bright young star in the Australian Open quarterfinals on Tuesday, before setting his sights on the leading new kid on the block, Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Spanish second seed continued his relentless progress by slaying giantkiller Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in just 107 minutes of power-packed, precision tennis. And Nadal, 32, warned the 20-year-old Tsitsipas, who knocked out Roger Federer in the fourth round, to be ready as the Spaniard would be at his best in Thursday evening’s semifinal.
- TimesLIVE, AFP, Reuters

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