SPORTS DAY: De Kock up for third ODI as Olivier drops out

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SPORTS DAY: De Kock up for third ODI as Olivier drops out

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Journalist


CRICKET
De Kock, Steyn back for Proteas
Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn have been included in the Proteas squad for the three remaining ODIs, starting against Pakistan at SuperSport Park on Friday. The two players were rested for the first two matches. The selectors have also included Lions left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks who has previously represented SA in T20s. Duanne Olivier‚ Dane Paterson and Heinrich Klaasen have dropped out.
TENNIS
Serena hails Pliskova’s ‘crazy’ comeback Serena Williams denied choking after falling victim to one of the greatest ever comebacks on Wednesday, saying she was powerless as Czech foe Karolina Pliskova “just went crazy” and stormed into the Australian Open semifinals. Williams had Pliskova on the rack serving at 5-1 in the third set but the seventh seed fended off four match points to bounce back and end the American’s latest bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam. “She just played lights out on match point, literally hitting lines,” Williams said. “Just went for it, just went crazy on match point. She just played unbelievable.” SOCCER
Highlands Park turn down R10m offer
Highlands Park turned down an offer for R10m from a rival club to buy their star forward Mothobi Mvala‚ Park coach Owen Da Gama has revealed. “A team offered us R10-million for Mothobi. and we refused,” Da Gama said, without naming the club.
Sala ‘concerned about plane’ in final message
Cardiff City’s record new signing Emiliano Sala expressed concern about his plane shortly before the light aircraft disappeared over the Channel, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives. “I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart, and I’m leaving for Cardiff,” Sala said in a WhatsApp audio message. “If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don’t know if they will send people to look for me, because they will not find me, you know. Dad, I’m so scared,” added the Argentine, signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for £17m.
France extradites African football chief
France on Wednesday transferred Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, a member of Africa’s top footballing body, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague where he faces war crimes charges, the ICC said. The transfer of Ngaissona, who is from the Central African Republic, “followed the completion of necessary national proceedings in France, where he was arrested on 12 December”, the tribunal said.
Fans baffled as Salah goes offline
Fans were left baffled on Wednesday after Liverpool’s star Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah appeared to have deleted all of his social media accounts where his followers number in the millions. The Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts of Salah, who is idolised in Egypt and Liverpool, went offline without warning a day after he posted a cryptic tweet: “2019 Resolution: Time to get in touch, for real.”
Beckham to take club stake with ‘Class of ‘92’
Former England midfielder David Beckham will take a 10% share in non-league club Salford City, joining up with his former “Class of ’92” Manchester United team mates in the project, the club said on Wednesday. Beckham will join Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes alongside businessman Peter Lim who will remain the largest shareholder with 40%.
RUGBY
Habana says All Blacks are favourites
Record Springbok try-scorer Bryan Habana believes that despite two defeats in 2018‚ the All Blacks remain the favourites to win the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year. “The All Blacks becoming the first team ever to win three World Cups in a row is very likely‚” Habana told stuff.co.nz. “Ireland will go into this World Cup pretty confident. But‚ like all previous World Cups‚ I’m almost certain New Zealand will go into this World Cup as favourites.”
‘Major signings no guarantee of success’
Reputations count for nothing in Super Rugby, Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard has warned on the back of the signings of Springboks Schalk Brits and Duane Vermeulen. “Of course it helps to have Duane and Schalk with us,” he said. “But it doesn’t matter how many Springboks you have in your team, Super Rugby is the toughest competition in the world and reputations count for nothing.”
GOLF
Tiger to make use of new flag rule Tiger Woods plans to take advantage of a new rule that allows players to leave the flag in the hole while putting, the former world No 1 said ahead of his first start of the season at Torrey Pines this week. “Some of the putts where the hole is kind of visible as it comes up over a rise ... it would be nice to have a reference point so I’ll probably leave it in for those kinds of putts,” he told reporters.
WRESTLING
Georgia wrestling chief assaults champion
Georgian police have arrested the chief of the country’s wrestling federation over a violent assault on a two-time European champion during a national tournament in the ex-Soviet Caucasus nation. A video aired on national television appears to show Tamaz “Gega” Gegeshidze  hitting Zurab Datunashvili, the Greco-Roman wrestling European champion in 2016 and 2017, on the head with a metal object as he walks from the ring, leaving his face covered in blood.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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