SPORTS DAY: Big Vern pulls out of Test with hammy knack
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Philander to miss second Test
If SA are to rescue the Test series against Sri Lanka at St George’s Park starting on Thursday‚ they will have to do so without star seamer Vernon Philander. Proteas coach Ottis Gibson said: “Vernon’s got a grade 1 hamstring strain. This is the last Test match of the summer and he’s pretty much out for 10 to 12 days‚ which rules him out of this Test match.”
Masakadza named Zimbabwe skipper
Hamilton Masakadza was on Tuesday named as captain of Zimbabwe for all three formats of international cricket for the next year, but a planned tour to India next month looks to have fallen through and the team have no fixtures planned before July. Zimbabwe had been scheduled to play a Test and three ODIs in India in March according to the Future Tours Programme. But this looks unlikely to happen as India host Australia in a limited overs series until mid-March, and then the Indian Premier League T20 competition starts 10 days later on March 23. Zimbabwe did not qualify for the World Cup.
Buccaneers return to nightmare ground
Orlando Pirates face SuperSport United on Wednesday night on a ground that has haunting memories for the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers return to Mbombela Stadium where in their abysmal 2016-17 season they took a 6-1 hammering from SuperSport. Everything coach Milutin Sredojevic has done at Bucs in the subsequent two campaigns has been geared towards erasing the memories of the campaign where Pirates ended 11th in the league.
Injuries hurt City hopes
Injury has ripped the heart out of the Cape Town City midfield‚ dealing them a potentially mortal blow in their bid for the league and cup double this season. Roland Putsche has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a serious knee injury, and Thabo Nodada could be out for as long as two months, also with a knee injury.
Three favourites hope to avoid each other
The draw for the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup will be held on Thursday evening with three clear favourites left in the field‚ all of who will be hoping to avoid the other. Kaizer Chiefs‚ BidVest Wits and Cape Town City will be considered the front runners, but as last year showed‚ when Free State Stars beat Maritzburg United in the final‚ anything is possible in knockout football.
Wenger calls on Africa to get its house in order
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged African football authorities to organise themselves more professionally so that teams from the continent can challenge for global titles. “France won the 2018 World Cup with some African players who have been educated in France‚ but they still come from Africa‚” Wenger said. “That should encourage Africa to organise its football. There is so much talent ... But one person cannot change Africa‚ the whole system has to be better organised. A successful national team starts with a strong youth system and organisation.”
Bulls lose Kotze ahead of Jaguares trip
The Bulls have suffered a blow ahead of their Super Rugby showdown against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday night with the news that influential centre Johnny Kotze has been ruled out due to meningitis. Kotze‚ who scored the Bulls’ third try in their 40-3 victory over the Stormers‚ has been replaced by former Springbok winger Cornal Hendricks in the only change to the squad from Saturday.
Parra and Lopez dropped
France head coach Jacques Brunel dropped scrumhalf Morgan Parra and flyhalf Camille Lopez for Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Scotland but denied it had anything to do with their criticism of the staff following their Twickenham debacle. Vice-captain Parra and Lopez pointed at the management’s share of responsibility in the 44-8 defeat against England on February 10 when Les Bleus looked clueless on the field.
Russell out of France clash
Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell has been ruled out of Saturday’s Six Nations match away to France with a head injury, Scottish Rugby announced Tuesday. The influential playmaker was substituted before halftime playing for Paris-based club side Racing 92 in Sunday’s loss to Toulouse and failed the initial head injury assessment.
Great to retire
Eight-time world champion Nicol David has announced she will retire at the end of the 2018-19 squash season, bringing down the curtain on the Malaysian’s illustrious career. The 35-year-old is the most successful woman squash player of all time and spent an unprecedented nine years as world number one between 2006-2015.
Indonesia submits bid to host 2032 Games
Indonesia has submitted a bid to host the 2032 Olympics after winning praise for hosting last year’s Asian Games, though it could face competition from India and a joint bid by North and South Korea.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE