SPORTS DAY: Ayanda Patosi set for debut with Iran champs

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SPORTS DAY: Ayanda Patosi set for debut with Iran champs

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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SOCCER
SA’s first player in Iran
Ayanda Patosi has had his first training session at his new Iranian club‚ as he breaks new frontiers for SA footballers. He has joined Esteghlal of Teheran‚ two-time Asian champions and the most successful club in Iran with eight national titles.
Heavy police presence for Soweto Derby
The SA Police Service will “significantly increase” its presence at Saturday’s Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates Absa Premiership Soweto derby in reaction to the rampant crime that affected the Global Citizen concert at the venue in December. Hunt cautious of Highlands Park
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has cautioned against the mistake of using log standings on the premiership table to judge the strength of opponents as he prepares the leaders for their clash against 10th-placed Highlands Park at the Makhulong Stadium on Saturday. “Highlands Park is a hard team to play against‚ if not the hardest because of the way they play the game. There’s just nothing wrong with that because everybody has got a way they want to play. If you want to win you have to overcome those things.”
West Ham investigate alleged racist abuse
West Ham United are investigating allegations of racist abuse aimed towards Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah during Monday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at the London Stadium. A video emerged on social media in which audible racial slurs are directed at the 26-year-old Egypt international as he was taking a corner.
Thailand blames Australia for refugee arrest
Thailand defended on Wednesday its arrest of a Bahraini footballer with refugee status in Australia, saying officials only detained him because Australian authorities sent an Interpol “red notice” after he boarded a plane to Bangkok. A Thai court is considering an extradition request from Bahrain for him to serve a 10-year sentence related to the Arab Spring uprising of 2011. He denies the charges.
ATHLETICS
Top SA sprinter quits over injury
One of SA’s fastest-ever 200m sprinters‚ Ncincilili Titi‚ has announced his intention to quit athletics after struggling to overcome what he called a medical problem. US-based Titi said he wasn’t expecting help from Athletics SA or the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.
BOXING
Mexican test for Fuzile
Azinga Fuzile‚ considered one of SA’s brightest boxing prospects‚ is to face a stern Mexican test in his next bout‚ trainer Colin Nathan says. Fuzile‚ unbeaten in 13 paid contests‚ will take on 34-fight veteran Romulo Koasicha in Port Elizabeth on April 7. Victory will take Fuzile one step closer to a world title shot.
CRICKET
India crash to worst T20 defeat Opener Tim Seifert’s 43-ball 84 helped New Zealand thump India by 80 runs in Wednesday’s first T20 international to hand the tourists their heaviest defeat in the format. “One of the complete performances you search for. Seifert was excellent,” Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson said. “The bowling performance was outstanding. We had runs on the board, but bowling and fielding were outstanding.” Australia to manage return of Smith, Warner
Steve Smith and David Warner will not be rushed back into the Australia side as soon as their bans expire next month but coach Justin Langer wants them in the World Cup squad. “Two great players who on paper we’d be crazy not to have them in the team.” RUGBY
Roux set to step up for Ireland
Quinn Roux was not included in Ireland’s Six Nations squad when coach Joe Schmidt announced his initial 38-man selection last month, but the Connacht lock is now set to assume a pivotal role in their must-win encounter with Scotland on Saturday. “Quinn has really stepped up in terms of calling the lineouts, leading the team and on the field, he’s slotting in when he’s had to pretty well,” said Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek.
‘Injury ravaged’ Sonny Bill hints at last year
All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams, who has been hampered by injuries in recent years, hinted on Wednesday this could be his last year with Super Rugby and possibly New Zealand rugby. Asked whether this could be his last year playing Super Rugby with the Auckland Blues, he replied: “It could be, bro, it could be.”
TENNIS
I remembered his eyes, says attack victim
Two-times Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova told a Czech court on Tuesday how she grabbed the blade of an attacker’s knife and forced it away from her neck, leaving blood everywhere, during an attack at her home in December 2016. Kvitova said she had recognised her attacker in photos provided by the police. “I knew it was him the moment I saw him [in the pictures]. I remembered his eyes mainly.”
GOLF
Koepka tells Garcia to grow up
Three-times major champion Brooks Koepka has publicly rebuked 39-year-old Sergio Garcia for a temper tantrum at the European Tour’s Saudi International on Saturday, and says it is time for the Spaniard to “grow up”. “That’s just Sergio acting like a child,” said Koepka. “I mean, you’re 40 years old, so you’ve got to grow up eventually.”
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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