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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Serena Williams Explains Hot Pink Bodysuit

She tweeted a picture of herself playing tennis in a pink bodysuit last week, and Serena Williams explained what that was all about last night at the Range Rover Evogue Event.
The tennis pro told People Magazine, “Honestly, I just tweeted a picture in the suit and I didn’t realize it would go that crazy.”

Revealing that the suit is a requirement for her practices, Serena explained, “After my hematoma, I have to wear something like a long bodysuit to keep my stomach warm. My practices are really … interesting right now.”
Looking forward to going back to tennis soon, she continued, “I think I’m going to come back casual. I don’t want to shock too many people too much. I want it to be all about my tennis.”

BOYS' TENNIS: Bulldogs remain undefeated

HOOD RIVER — Hermiston remained undefeated in boys’ tennis league matches on Tuesday with a 5-3 win over the Hood River Valley Eagles in a make-up match from last week.
As they have all season, Hermiston’s Nos. 1 through 3 doubles teams helped carry the Bulldogs to victory. Top-ranked tandem Joey Burns and Ryan Parsons won 7-5, 6-4 against Luke Ihle and Jonathan Goarher. The Bulldogs duo has not lost a league match since their first of the year.
“They won in straight sets against another team that will have a chance at district of going to state,” said Hermiston (6-0) coach Casey Arstein.
Hermiston’s No. 2 doubles team of Matt Ternes and Connor McMichael continued their undefeated season with a 6-1, 6-0 sweep of Tyler Robinson and Strom McKee. Kevin Hawman and Robert Millard defeated No. 3 Levi Roesezer and Felipe Martinez in two 6-0 sets.
In singles play, Hood River Valley split two wins apiece with Hermiston. Senior Matt Booher, who had not played a No. 2 league match in two weeks for Hermiston, defeated Donovan Doroski 6-4, 7-6.
Kyle Stone picked up Hermiston’s other singles win at No. 4 in a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 battle against Philip Winkle. It was Stone’s first win in varsity singles.
Hermiston will play at The Dalles Wahtonka today at 3:30 p.m., looking to keep its undefeated record for the district tournament in May.

Robinson Tennis Beats Herndon

The Rams came out looking lethargic on a beautiful day at Herndon. Might have been spring break fever. And with a Hornet team seriously contending for the regional playoffs, it was nail-biting time for the coach. However, in the end, they continued to play grind-it-out tennis and came home with a 6-3 victory.

The match began with the top-four singles matches all down breaks of serve. Tim Ferrell was again battling Philip Nelson, one of the top players in the state. Ferrell held his first serve but it was another eight games till he won another, going on to lose 10-2 (a one-game improvement from last match). However, at the bottom of the lineup, Dillon Meyer grabbed a 7-1 lead over Willie Creech and went on to win 10-4 to even up the match. Jacob Schreiman followed him off the court closely with a 10-5 win. The sophomore got out to a 5-2 lead but had a small let down allowing his Hornet opponent to even the score. However, he finished strong, winning the final five games.

Senior David Smiley at No. 4 exchanged breaks of serve and got down 4-2. However, he finished strongly, taking eight of nine games to take the match, 10-5. David really hustled in a number of points, turning seemingly lost points into winners, which seemed to discourage Chris Czerwinski of Herndon. Czerwinski was solid from the ground but his volleys were suspect and the Ram brought him in to win points.

With Robinson now up 3-1 in singles, attention turned to the second and third courts where Aaron Christian and Michael Cable struggled. Christian fell behind 5-1 but reeled off four straight games to pull even at 5-5. Josh Albertson, a lefty, was solid off the ground, and being about 6-foot-3, also won a lot of points on overheads. However, with the Rams’ comeback, Albertson's confidence began to wane and started missing volleys and consistency from the baseline. Christian's tenacity and hustle created openings and he streaked through five straight games to rack up the win, 10-6.

At No. 3, Michael Cable seemed unfocused at the beginning, trying to hit Daniel Goldman off the court. Goldman's game was to keep the ball in play and he was soon up 4-1 and 5-3. Cable settled down and played more consistently and took a 7-5 lead. However, his impatience and the determination of his Hornet opponent allowed the Hornet to take an 8-7 lead. Cable was reminded to play a steadier game and won the last 3 easily to clinch the victory for the Rams, putting their record at 7-0 for the season.

In doubles, Ferrell and Smiley fell to Nelson and Albertson, 8-3. Christian teamed with Meyer to win 8-3. The last match had Ted Diamond and Dayton Coupland playing Herndon's No. 3 team and giving them a battle before succumbing, 8-6.

The Rams now get spring break week off but come back to three matches in three days to finish the season.

Marion Bartoli upset by Kristina Barrois in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

  • Marion Bartoli upset by Kristina Barrois in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
German wild card entrant, Kristina Barrois downed eighth seeded French Marion Bartoli in straight sets to make a surprise quarter-final entry in the 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old German displayed exceptional skills to upset the world number 12, Bartoli by a 6-4, 6-2 score line at the Porsche Arena. It was their first duel against each other with the German now leading the head-to-head series against Bartoli by 1-0.
Ranked 79th in the WTA Premier rankings, Barrois hasn’t had much progress this season but she re-formed her strategy at Stuttgart and defeated Czech Lucie Safarova in the first round. She then triumphed over the Frenchwoman in one hour and twenty-five minutes to book her spot in the quarters.
In the first set, the German lost her opening serve to trail 0-2 in the beginning but she roared back by snatching her breaking Bartoli's serve in the next game and eventually levelled the scores at 2-2. Later she held her remaining serves spectacularly and broke the Frenchwoman’s serve again in the seventh game to clinch the set with a 6-4 win.
Barrois raised her level of game in the second set and went on savage mode to win the first four games in a row. She held her serves plausibly in the remaining games to seal the set with a convincing 6-2 score line.
Overall the German played amazingly as she committed zero double faults, fired four ferocious aces and found eleven breakpoint opportunities of which she converted four to her advantage to help her win comfortably.
Bartoli on the other hand has been in top form this season as she made semi-final berths at Brisbane and Doha, quarterfinal berths at Hobart and Kuala Lumpur, and reached the final at Indian Wells before losing to top seeded Caroline Wozniacki. Regardless of earning a breadstick in her opening match against Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, she showed dismal performance in this match and clobbered several unforced errors which made. As a result she exits Stuttgart from the second round.
Barrois will next face Agnieszka Radwanska who also upset a seeded player to reach this spot. The Pole upset 3rd seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone with a breadstick in eighty-eight minutes.

Shock win for German wild-card Barrois in Stuttgart tennis

Wild-card Kristina Barrois said her shock win over eighth seed Marion Bartoli on Wednesday at Stuttgart's WTA tournament would boost her ailing mother who is suffering from a brain tumour.
Germany's Kristina Barrois reacts during her second round match against Marion Bartoli of France of the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament in Stuttgart, southern Germany. Barrois won the match 6-4, 6-2.
The 29-year-old German, ranked 79th in the world, pulled off her biggest win of the year -- and one of the biggest of her career -- when she enjoyed a 6-4, 6-2 victory over the French star, ranked 12th in the world, in just 85 minutes.
"My mother is very ill, she has a brain tumour," said Barrois.
"Things are getting increasingly difficult at home, but every victory helps of course."
In Thursday's quarter-finals, Barrois will face Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska who put out Italy's French Open champion Francesca Schiavone with an impressive 6-1, 6-3 victory.
Barrois's win on Wednesday made her the first German to make the Stuttgart quarter-finals in over a decade.

Men's tennis wins regular season championship, eyes on tournament title

  • Senior Chase Helpingstine is one of four seniors who have led the Phoenix to a regular season SoCon title. He has won 17 straight doubles matches. File photo by Brian Allenby.
For the last three years, the men's tennis team reached the finals of the Southern Conference tournament, only to falter each year.
This year's team is halfway to reversing that trend as it clinched the regular season SoCon title as it defeated the Appalachian State University Mountaineers 6-1 Thursday, April 14.

"This makes the ring seem even more special than if we had just gotten it freshman year, since now we value the hard work," senior Alberto Rojas said.

Coach Michael Leonard said that the hard work over the last four years is the real reason the team has been able to succeed so far this year.

"It feels great to see how hard the team has worked to get to this point, especially after coming so close the last three years," Leonard said. "It started with our four senior leaders, and worked its way through the team."

The Phoenix got off to a fast start in its championship-clinching match by winning its 11th straight doubles point. Top doubles partners, seniors Chase Helpingstine and Philip Nemec earned their 17th straight victory, and finished their league slate with a perfect 10-0 mark.

In all, Elon won seven of nine matches against the Mountaineers, as the Phoenix handed Appalachian State their first home loss of the season. All four Elon seniors — Helpingstine, Nemec, Alberto Rojas and Cody Stauffer-MacDowell — won their matches en route to the Phoenix victory.

"Having shared so many experiences with our other three seniors coming so close in three titles makes it all the more fulfilling," Rojas said. "Since we have been through so much together and have become so close, so it is nice to see them succeed as well."

Through the culmination of the past four years, Leonard has been able to see the improvement of the seniors to reach their ultimate goal, winning a SoCon title.

"When these seniors came in to the program, they started low, mostly as the sixth and seventh man," Leonard said. "To see how much they've grown in four years, and to come so close the past few years really makes this year's championship fun to see."

The Phoenix travels to Chattanooga to compete in the SoCon tournament, with its first matches scheduled for Thursday, April 21. As the No. 1 seed, the Phoenix will play the winner of the No. 8 and No. 9 matchup.

"We know that we have enough talent in this team to take on the championship," Rojas said. "We are just getting ready to go out there, have fun and play with no fear."

Last year in the SoCon tournament, the Phoenix had the No. 4 seed. After winning its first round matchup, Elon lost to UNC Greensboro 4-3 in the SoCon championship. To overcome a fourth second-place finish in the tournament, Leonard plans to mentally prepare the tennis team this week.

"It's all about them getting their mind right," Leonard said. "Getting the No.1 seed was a good start, we just have to keep playing aggressively and get to a quick start."

Eastern Michigan hires Rob Murphy as basketball coach

Rob Murphy, in 2001
Rob Murphy, in 2001 / J. KYLE KEENER / DFP

Eastern Michigan has hired Syracuse assistant and former Detroit Crockett coach Rob Murphy as its men's basketball coach, the Free Press has learned.
EMU called a news conference for 11 a.m. Thursday to introduce its coach but declined to reveal his identity. Multiple people with knowledge of the hiring told the Free Press that Murphy will be the successor to Charles Ramsey, who was fired this month after going 68-118 in six seasons at EMU.
The two sides have been in negotiations about Murphy's contract the last several days, holding up the announcement.
Murphy, a graduate of Detroit Mumford, has been working under Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim at Syracuse since 2004.
After graduating from Central State (Ohio), Murphy was as an associate head coach at Detroit Central in 1996-98. The team reached the state finals his first year and won the Class A state title in 1998.
Murphy then was hired as head coach at Crockett, where he won a Class B state title in 2001 and coached future Michigan State guard Maurice Ager, later a first-round draft choice of the Dallas Mavericks.
Murphy had a record of 64-27 at Crockett and was the Free Press all-metro coach of the year in 2001.
“He’s a city guy, and he did a good job when he was at Crockett," Detroit Denby coach Charles Albright said. “I think it would be a good thing for Eastern to hire him so they can get back on track."

Hill elected to Basketball Hall of Fame board - SKY NEWS

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (ROUTERS) — Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's board of governors, the first time an active NBA player has served on the board.

Hill said in a statement issued by the Springfield, Mass.-based Hall of Fame that it is an honor to "represent the living history of basketball." He said it's important for current players to be involved and recognize those who came before them.
Hill will serve a three-year term.
The 22-member board oversees management of the Hall of Fame.
Hill helped Duke win two NCAA championships before being selected with the third overall pick in the 1994 draft by the Detroit Pistons. He has also played for the Orlando Magic and is a seven-time NBA All-Star selection.

Basketball: Breakers just one victory from glory -Routers

Breakers 85
Taipans 67
Alex Pledger's 13 points helped the Breakers to crush the Taipans. Photo / Richard Robinson

Alex Pledger's 13 points helped the Breakers to crush the Taipans. Photo / Richard Robinson

One down, one more to go.
The Breakers have one hand on the ANBL trophy after thrashing the Cairns Taipans in the opening match of the grand final series on the North Shore last night.
Kirk Penney led the way with 25 points in a match that began as a nervy affair but ended as a walk in the park. So dominant were the Breakers that coach Andrej Lemanis was even able to clear his bench late in the fourth quarter.
Game one may have been a blowout but the Breakers are expecting tougher resistance in Cairns on Sunday.
"We haven't achieved anything yet," point guard Paul Henare said. "The talk amongst the group right now is 'hey, don't take your foot off the pedal, there is no time to exhale'.
"We have still got a tough, tough task in front of us trying to close it out in Cairns."
Should they do so, the retiring Henare will have played his last game on his home court. It's a scenario he'd happily embrace.
"We'd love to do it anywhere. We have done half the job. Cairns are a hell of a basketball team. I don't think they showed what they are all about [last night]. We expect a lot more from them [in Cairns]. They seem to grow an extra arm and leg when they play on their home court.
"But we are ready. We can feel we are so close. We've got one more game to get it and you can guarantee we are going to be throwing every single thing at it," Henare said last night.
Finals are often ugly affairs but the first quarter last night took that concept to new heights. It was hideous. Both sides turned in a horror shooting display. The Breakers landed just four of their 16 field goal attempts for the quarter. The Taipans were even worse, hitting just 2/14.
An early 5-0 foul count in their favour helped the Taipans compile an 11-5 lead, with nine of those points coming from the free thrown line.
But when a run of calls swung back the Breakers' way the score quickly levelled and it was the home side that led 17-14 after closing the quarter with a 6-0 run.
That streak continued in the second spell, with the Breakers scoring the first 11 points to complete a 17-0 run. Tom Abercrombie converted a four-point play after he was fouled while drilling a shot from beyond the arc as the Breakers' offence found some serious rhythm.
By midway through the second quarter the lead had grown to 19. Classy Cairns point guard Ayinde Ubaka was playing near enough a lone hand but he did just enough to keep the Taipans in it, notching 10 points for the half to help his side close the gap to 14 at the break.
The Taipans would have been hoping for a let up to allow them back into the match in the third quarter, but this Breakers team has absorbed its lessons this season.
Penney streaked to the basket and drew a foul while completing his lay-up on the opening possession of the half, and Gary Wilkinson (15 points) then converted a nice Penney assist as the Breakers immediately put the foot back on the throat.
The second half became an exhibition, with Penney lighting up from three-point range and Alex Pledger dominating in the paint to crush the Taipans into the NSEC floorboards. Midway through the quarter the lead was a staggering 31 points.
It took a classic Phill Jones outburst of the type Breakers fans used to savour to save the Taipans from complete humiliation. The Tall Blacks veteran nailed three consecutive threes in an 11-point burst to cut the gap to 18 at three-quarter time, but not even Jones could engineer the type of miracle the Taipans needed to get back into match
Breakers 85 (Kirk Penney 25, Gary Wilkinson 15, Alex Pledger 13).
Cairns Taipans 67 (Ian Crosswhite 15, Phill Jones 14) Halftime: 41-27.

Dott holds off fightback from King to book second round spot at the Crucible

Last year's runner-up Graeme Dott held off a fightback by Mark King to win 10-7 and clinch a second-round match against Ali Carter.
Dott, from Larkhall, began the session 6-3 ahead and stretched his lead to 7-3 before King started his revival with a break of 138, the highest so far in this year's championship and his Crucible best, beating the 137 he made in 2001.
King came back to trail just 7-6, but 2006 champion Dott pulled away once more to oust the Romford potter.
On the ball: Graeme Dott on his way to victory over Mark King
On the ball: Graeme Dott on his way to victory over Mark King
And King believes Dott could do well again this year. He said: 'You can't get to three finals and win one without being any good. I think he's a great player and very underestimated.'
Dott explained he had been struggling with his game, but all it took was to arrive in Sheffield for his performance to turn around.
'I love playing here,' he said. 'I played at the Scottish Professional Championship a few days before coming down here and couldn't pot a ball.
'Then I arrived at the Crucible and everything clicked. As soon as I came into the arena I played pretty well.
'I don't know what it is, I just seem to like playing here.'
Take your time: Ricky Walden's match with Ricky McLeod lasted over seven hours
Take your time: Ricky Walden's match with Ricky McLeod lasted over seven hours
Meanwhile, Rory McLeod, the 40-year-old from Wellingborough who coaches Qatar's national team to supplement his earnings from playing, reached the second round for the first time with a painstaking 10-6 victory over Ricky Walden.
The play was so slow yesterday that McLeod and former Shanghai Open champion Walden had to be hauled off at 4-4, rather than play the usual nine frames in a session.
They went into overtime again today when the 16th frame ran on for 53 minutes, delaying the afternoon matches.
McLeod eventually won it, after Walden left him an easy blue. Walden inadvertently potted the pink when attempting to play safe, ending a battle which had lasted seven hours and 16 minutes.

Hong Kong's Fu crashes out of snooker's World Championships

SHEFFIELD, United Kingdom — Hong Kong's Marco Fu crashed out of snooker's World Championships in the first round after blowing his lead against Martin Gould.
Trailing 6-3 from Tuesday's opening session, Gould won seven of nine frames here on Wednesday to win 10-8 and set up a second round clash with Judd Trump, who defeated reigning champion Neil Robertson in the first round.
It was a painful case of deja vu for Fu, who was beaten 10-9 by Gould at the same stage of the World Championships last year.
Fu had shown inspired form in the early stages of the match, but fell to pieces with the second round within touching distance.
Gould reeled off five frames in a row to lead 8-6, and it could have been 9-6 but the 29-year-old wasted an early chance in the 15th frame.
He managed to blast the black at a corner pocket so firmly it jumped off the table and landed on the Crucible carpet, to his bemusement.
Fu narrowed the gap to 8-7 with a run of 60 and then drew level with a break of exactly 100, but a run of 59 helped Gould jump back into the lead, and he finished with a flourish to book the appointment with Trump.
Fu admitted his lack of consistency had been to blame for his latest failure at the Crucible Theatre.
"Some of the pots I made were pretty good but overall I'm just too inconsistent. It's just frustrating for me at the moment," Fu said.
He was woken up in the middle of the night by a hotel fire alarm but stressed that had not affected his performance.
"Obviously I was distracted but I went back to sleep half an hour later. It wasn't that at all," Fu said.
Gould added: "I'm quite happy with the way I played. I can still play a lot better but I'm just glad to be into the next round.
"I knew if I could get three or four frames on the bounce, which I did, he might start feeling it a bit more."
England's Rory McLeod, the 40-year-old who coaches Qatar's national team to supplement his earnings from playing, reached the second round for the first time with a 10-6 victory over Ricky Walden.
Last year's runner-up Graeme Dott held off a fightback by Mark King to win 10-7 and clinch a second-round match against Ali Carter.

Kevin Pietersen expresses desire to lead England once again

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has expressed desire to lead the national side once again if Andrew Strauss steps down as one-day skipper.

Pietersen, who saw his first stint as England's Test and ODI skipper in 2008-09 end prematurely due to his poor relationship with then coach Peter Moores, said he would love to have another go at the captaincy.

"If the one-day job becomes available I would definitely be up for it. It's something I've thought about in the past few weeks since the rumours surfaced about Andy Strauss stepping down," Pietersen said.

"Second time around I think I could do a real good job as I'd be older and wiser, and would handle a few things a lot differently. So if the opportunity came up and I was asked I would say 'thank you very much, I would love to have another go'."

Talking about his first stint, Pietersen hardly had any complaints.

"I didn't think I was too bad first time around - we had our moments against South Africa, and it took a century of freakish brilliance from Sachin Tendulkar to deny us a famous Test win in Chennai," Pietersen, who lost his job within six months, was quoted as saying by 'The Daily Mirror'.

There have been reports in the British media that Strauss may step down as one-day skipper to focus on his Test duties.

2015 ICC Cricket World Cup , Australia wants 10 best teams

Cricket Australia wants the 2015 World Cup to be contested by the 10 best teams in world cricket, after the ICC's confirmation that a reassessment on the fate of the associate members' participation in the event was on the cards.

Co-hosts Australia will put their point across when the ICC reconsiders the tournament format at its annual conference in Hong Kong in June.

"Our starting point on ICC Events has always been that qualification should be based on merit," said a Cricket Australia (CA) spokesman.

"We support moving to a 10-team ICC World Cup in 2015 and longer term, support moving to ICC World Cups which are 10-team contests based on merit, (like) the top 10-ranked nations in the world. The ICC has discussed reviewing the position on 2015 and we will be an interested participant (both as an ICC member and also as a co-host) in that discussion."

The ICC was roundly criticised by the non-Test-playing nations after its decision to curtail the number of participants in the 2015 edition of the mega-event from 14 to the 10 full members, including strugglers Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

But, following mounting pressure from the associates, ICC has mulled reconsidering its decision.

Suggestions that the absence of associates from the 50-over World Cup could be balanced by expanding the number of teams in the T20 event, too, were met with protests.

CA is of the opinion that Twenty20 can be used to grow the game in developing countries.

"James (Sutherland, CA chief executive) has always argued that ICC Events should be assessed in the full context of the ICC World Cup and ICC Twenty20 World Championship," the spokesman was quoted saying.

"In keeping the ICC World Cup tight (which is what fans want), it is on the basis that the ICC Twenty20 can be run as a tight event with, say, the top 16. Twenty20 offers the top 16 an ideal chance to develop, progress, develop international success and profile."

"I would love to see Gary Kirsten coach South African team": Morne Morkel

South African speedster Morne Morkel feels that his country's cricket would benefit highly if Gary Kirsten decides to coach the national team.

"I would love to see Gary (Kirsten) coach South African team. He has a proven track record. Personally, I have always shared a great rapport with Gary. He is loved and respected in the South African dressing room. His success with India has been phenomenal and he now knows a thing or two about how it feels to win the World Cup," Morkel said during an interaction on Wednesday.

Interestingly, Cricket South Africa are keen on roping in Kirsten as Corrie van Zyl's tenure as the chief coach ended after the World Cup.

As the discussion veered towards IPL and Delhi Daredevils' unimpressive show, Morkel was forthright in admitting that the Ferozeshah Kotla track has proved to be a difficult one for pacers.

"It's been hard work for us. But the pitch can't be an excuse for not bowling well. Our performance has been a culmination of both poor batting and bowling. I guess on this track it's difficult to get too many wickets. So we should rather try and restrict the batsmen," the 26-year-old speedster from Transvaal said.

He said that Dale Steyn's bowling is something that the Delhi bowlers should emulate at the death overs.

"Once the ball gets soft, you need to take the pace off your deliveries. Look at how Steyn used the cutters to good effect at the end of our innings. Skill wise, we are a good team. It's just that we need a bit of confidence as lot of guys are playing together for the first time."

On personal front, he is still recovering from a stomach bug that has weakened him considerably.

"I am training hard to get my strength back after being bitten by the stomach bug. Hopefully, we do well in the remaining 10 matches and our fans would have a reason to smile."

Does he find it difficult to share the new ball with the likes of Ashok Dinda and Umesh Yadav after partnering world's best pacer Dale Steyn ?

"I believe they (Dinda, Yadav) have a lot of talent. Skillwise, they are there and now it's matter of gaining experience. We have a good pace attack and we are gelling well. The main focus will be to stick to the basics and do the little things well," Morkel said.

Morkel defended his skipper Virender Sehwag's poor form. "He is a fantastic captain. He is a match-winner and everyone knows about it."

About their next opponents Kings XI Punjab, Morkel feels that Irfan Pathan's experience of playing with franchise will come in handy.

"Obviously, Irfan is an experienced cricketer and his inputs about the team will be useful. We definitely have a few strategies in mind but it won't be a good idea to reveal them."

As there wasn't any training scheduled on Wednesday, Morkel visited the Puma store to check out on the latest brand of sporting wear.

"It's always nice to try out new stuff designed by Puma," he concluded.

Gayle's decision to miss Pakistan series for IPL angered WICB

Former captain Chris Gayle's decision to give the entire home series against Pakistan a miss for the lucrative IPL has angered the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), which described the opener's move as "unacceptable and disappointing".
In a statement, the WICB on Wednesday confirmed that it had granted No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Gayle to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL after "he had officially notified the board of his decision not to make himself available for selection for the Pakistan leg of the Digicel Series."
"Gayle informed the WICB that he had received an offer to participate in the IPL and applied to the WICB for a No Objection Certificate to cover the entire duration of the IPL which clashes with the Pakistan leg of the Digicel Series," the statement read.
"The WICB does not accept Gayle's reason for making himself unavailable but as he has already clearly made his choice and has travelled to India, the WICB does not wish to stand in his way.
"The WICB is most disappointed in the manner in which Gayle has handled the entire situation, especially given the mature and cooperative manner in which two other players who refused contracts - Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard - made themselves available for selection and agreed to an understanding in the best interest of West Indies cricket," it added.
Gayle, who remained unsold in the IPL IV auctions earlier this year after attracting a base price of USD 4,00,000, was on Tuesday roped in by Bangalore as a replacement for injured Australian left-arm pacer Dirk Nannes.
The WICB said that it was taken by surprise by Gayle's decision as it was under the impression that the opener, who was rehabilitating an abdominal strain he suffered during the World Cup, was preparing for the Pakistan series under the supervision of a medical team in Jamaica.
"At the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup, Gayle underwent a medical examination in the UK. Following Gayle's consultation with a UK doctor it was determined that he would require at least 2 to 3 weeks of rest before returning to training.
"The WICB was surprised to learn that Gayle had been making arrangements to play cricket in India when the WICB was under the clear impression that he was recovering from injury and was undergoing rehabilitation work and about to resume training," the statement said.
The West Indies board also made it clear that because of the injury Gayle was not considered for the first two ODIs against Pakistan.
"After the resumption of training the WICB team management would have organised a fitness test to assess Gayle's fitness and decisions would have then been taken about his selection to the West Indies team to face Pakistan.
"The squads for the third, fourth and fifth Digicel ODIs and the Digicel Tests have not yet been selected. It is therefore not accurate, as has been insinuated in some quarters, that Gayle was not selected for the entire Pakistan leg of the Digicel Series," the WICB stressed.
Gayle had played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the first three editions of the IPL.

BCCI dismissed media reports that players demanded monetary reward

The BCCI on Wednesday dismissed media reports that players demanded monetary reward to the tune of Rs 5 crore each for winning the World Cup.
Cricket board secretary N Srinivasan said the report of players demanding more monetary reward than what had been promised by the BCCI was "incorrect".
"There is no substance in the report. It was incorrect," said Srinivasan.
"There is no such demand from the players," he added.
Quoting an unnamed top player, a report said that the players wanted Rs 5 crore each as bonus for winning the World Cup.
Immediately after the win, the BCCI had announced a cash award of Rs 1 crore for each player.
"We are not greedy for money ... There is no harm in asking for more since the Board will earn thousands of crores after India's victory. A player's life is very uncertain. Who knows what will happen next," the report quoted the unnamed player as saying.

Associate nations requested ICC to hold emergency meetings

The associate nations have requested International Cricket Council (ICC) to hold emergency meetings with their representatives before the ICC executive committee reviews its decision on the composition of the 2015 World Cup.
"We have requested a chance for our elected representatives to put our case in a meeting with the ICC in the next seven to 10 days, well ahead of the annual meeting, otherwise the Hong Kong discussions are likely to be the same 10 people having the same debate about the same issue," Cricket Ireland's chief executive Warren Deutrom was quoted as saying in The Guardian.
ICC president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday requested a review of the decision to cut down participation in 2015 World Cup to 10 Test-playing nations, throwing a lifeline to associate nations like Ireland and the Netherlands who were impressive in the 2011 World Cup.
The ICC executive board will now review the decision at its annual conference in Hong Kong in June in view of the widespread criticism.
"This is a line in the sand issue. We want to solve this within the family and we are prepared to review all possible remedies but the ICC should be in no doubt about the depth of our resolve," Deutrom said.
"The ICC has received widespread condemnation from around the world for not considering their duty to cricket as a whole and are now willing to consider whether they have made a mistake. That is progress."
Richard Cox, the chief executive of the Royal Netherlands Cricket Board, said pressing for a qualification tournament was at the centre of the associates strategy.
"We've done a great deal of research over the last week, particularly Warren Deutrom of Ireland, had a lot of letters of support, and we've also had some experienced sports lawyers offering us help. On that basis we felt we were at least able to contest the decision around the opportunity to qualify and that is what we've done," he said.

No streaks no earring , Dilshan is a captain now

Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan said on Wednesday he had toned down his image so that he could focus on his new and challenging role as the captain of the side.
Dilshan, 34, has dyed his blond streaks back to black and removed his earring after selectors gave him the captaincy following the resignation of Kumar Sangakkara.
"Times have changed," grinned Dilshan when grilled by reporters as to why he has opted for a sober look.
"I pierced my ear, when my daughter cried when her ears were being pierced," he said during a brief two-day visit to Colombo from Indian Premier League duties.
Dilshan plays for IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.
"Now I don't see a need to wear the earring. The same with my hair. It was fashionable then for me, it's not so now," he said while his actress wife Manjula Thilini smiled sitting in the audience.
Dilshan, famous for his signature scoop shot, said he hoped to continue his aggressive batting style when he leads the team on next month's tour of England.
"I'm a bit aggressive. Perhaps I will sometimes change my style a bit. But I might play with it (aggressiveness) even as a captain," the opening batsman said.
"Captaincy is a challenging role for me. It's a dream come true. I never expected it," said the father of two.
"I want to give it my best shot. I have played for nearly 12 years. It's been a very long journey to the top," said Dilshan, who led Sri Lanka to a win in a triangular one-day series in Zimbabwe, which also included India. Dilshan, also a useful part-time spinner, made headlines last year for the wrong reasons when he egged teammate Suraj Randiv to bowl a no-ball to deny Indian opener Virender Sehwag his century.
He had an excellent World Cup, where he was the tournament's highest scorer with 500 runs from nine matches at an average of 62.50.

" Playing for my country is more important than playing for IPL " : Dilshan

Sri Lankan cricketers currently playing in the Indian Premier League will return home early to prepare for the upcoming England tour, new skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan said on Wednesday.
Dilshan is among 11 players who have been asked by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to return home by May 5, more than three weeks before the lucrative Twenty20 tournament ends.
"Personally, I am not unhappy to return early," Dilshan told reporters. "Playing for my country is more important than playing for IPL. I think everybody selected for England tour will be happy to come early."
The Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) had earlier written to SLC asking them to allow their cricketers to stay on till May 15.
"We did sign a no-objection agreement with the players to play in the IPL. But there was no date to return. I am sure the BCCI will understand country must come first before IPL," SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said.
Sri Lanka will play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international during the England tour starting May 14.
Ranatunga said training for the tour will start on May 5 and the team will leave for London on May 11.
He said former skippers Mahela Jayawardene (Kochi Tuskers) and Kumar Sangakkara (Deccan Chargers) will also have to return as they have been selected in the Test squad.
"The BCCI has asked us to reconsider our decision, but we have not changed our stand," Ranatunga said.
Dilshan, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore along with fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, said he hoped the franchises would understand their early exit.
"We have a new interim coach (Stuart Law) and a new batting coach (Marvan Atapattu). I am also new as captain. We need to prepare together to build up for the big England tour," he said.
Chief selector and former captain Duleep Mendis said the early recall was necessary as Sri Lanka had been playing one-dayers and Twenty20s for the past two months.
"They have to mentally prepare and switch to play the longer version of the game," said Mendis.
"The first half of the English summer is not very easy and we want the boys to train together and focus on playing with red balls instead of the white ones that they have been playing with in the past two months," Mendis said.
Other Sri Lankan IPL players include Nuwan Kulasekara and Suraj Randiv (Chennai Super Kings); Dilhara Fernando and Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians).

" We were disappointing, not up to the mark " : KKR Skipper

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir admitted his team was not upto the mark and blamed the batsmen for failing to chase down a modest target of 133 against Kochi Tuskers Kerela in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.
"We should have chased that target easily. The wicket was playing better than it did in the last game. We were disappointing, not up to the mark," Gambhir said after his team was restricted to 126 for nine by the Kochi bowlers.
Gambhir said the credit goes to Kochi for their clinical bowling display. The way their bowlers bowled.
Asked about the fitness of Yusuf Pathan, who hurt his knee while taking a catch at the boundary line, Gambhir said the Baroda all-rounder is fine and should be ok to play in the next game.
"Nothing serious with Yusuf's injury, he should be OK for the next game," Gambhir said.
His Kochi counterpart, Mahela Jayawardene said he always thought the score would be competitive.
"I thought it was going to be a scrappy game, 130 was a competitive score. We missed out on about 15 runs, we batted really well," he said.
The Sri Lankan was also lavish in his praise for the bowlers.
"The bowlers performed under pressure, the fielding was outstanding. Our quicks had the variation, knew I could use them at the end of the game. We took early wickets, guys like Gambhir and Kallis can hurt you. I had quality at the end as well," he said.

Shahid Afridi terms Wasim Akram, Moin Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq as his top skippers

Shahid Afridi terms Wasim Akram, Moin Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq as his top skippers – Cricket news

Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi has termed former cricketers Moin Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Wasim Akram as his top three skippers during his 15-year career.
He further termed late Bob Woolmer as the best coach he has ever played with.
“I enjoyed my cricket a lot under the captaincy of Wasim bhai. Moin bhai was also a tough cricketer and a fighting captain. Inzi bhai was good too. So these would be my top-three, the captains under whom I enjoyed my cricket a lot,” Afridi said.
Describing Woolmer as the “best coach” he ever had, Afridi heaped praise on the Englishman for his outstanding ability to motivate players even in the worst of times. The captain added that Woolmer helped him a lot in boosting his confidence.
“Bob Woolmer has to be the best coach. His coaching style was great, so when a player wasn't performing, Woolmer would sit with the player, chat with him informally, all this to ensure one's spirits didn't fall and the player wouldn't get demoralized,” added the 31-year-old captain.
The flamboyant all-rounder considered Woolmer’s era of coaching as the highlight of his cricketing career.
Afridi is the most senior player in the current Pakistan side with 320 One Day International caps. A true match-winner, Afridi is a mesmerising hitter but his inconsistency with the bat caused him to be in and out of the team over the years.
An aggressive all-rounder, Afridi was introduced to the international stage as a 16-year-old leg-spinner. He shot into prominence by hitting the fastest ODI century in his very first innings as a batsman. He also holds the record for hitting the most number of sixes in 50-over cricket. In bowling, he has taken over 300 wickets.
Afridi further revealed that he was enjoying his time as the skipper of the side. After his ICC World Cup 2011 mistakes, which cost Pakistan a chance to play in the final of the tournament, Afridi has vowed to make amends by putting up an improved performance against West Indies in the upcoming series.

Whoa Nelly! Britani Knight not signed to WWE… yet

Despite reports claiming that it has been confirmed that Pro Wrestling: EVE champion Britani Knight has been signed by World Wrestling Entertainment, the woman herself has turned to her Facebook page to personally tell us the situation:
woahhh thanks the congratulations but i dont even know whats going on yet! Hopefully though guys fingers crossed!
The 18-year old daughter of British wrestling legends Ricky Knight and Sweet Saraya received a second tryout with WWE before last night NXT and SmackDown tapings in London after impressing officials during the promotions tour last year.
Knight is on both WWE and TNA’s radar, but as she has told us herself, nothing has been confirmed or set in stone. So let’s all just… relax…
But to get you over the letdown, below is a photo taken by Ben Harte of Britani and Saraya in the background of yesterday’s SD taping.

Britani Knight Signed by WWE - Routers

Diva Dirt can confirm that 18-year-old British wrestling prodigy, Britani Knight signed with WWE last night following a successful second tryout.
Knight, who was just crowned the first ever Pro-Wrestling: EVE Champion a couple of weeks ago, first had a tryout with WWE last November.
She comes from a family of wrestlers: Her mother and father, Saraya and Ricky, are staples of the British wrestling scene. Her brothers are wrestlers also.
Britani and Saraya last month made highly successful debuts as heels, along with manager Rebecca Knox, at SHIMMER.
A huge congratulations to Britani!

WWE: Ex-WWE Diva At IMPACT! + Mickie James' Injury & Return

Ex-WWE Diva At IMPACT! + Mickie James' Injury & Return
-- Christy Hemme and her band HEMME are playing at the Revolution Night Club in Orlando, Florida on Thursday from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. The club is located on 375 South Bumby Avenue. -- Former WWE Diva Serena worked a dark match prior to tonight's TNA IMPACT! taping. Mickie James wrote the following on Twitter, "Bout to watch my siz @SerenaDeeb in a Lil TNA Knockout action! I can't wait!"
-- Mickie James, who won the TNA Women's Knockout Championship at TNA Lockdown, is expected to resume wrestling at the next set of TNA iMPACT! tapings in two weeks. James separated her shoulder last month at a house show in Jacksonville, Florida during a match against Madison Rayne. It was explained on television that the injury was caused by Rayne and Tara running over her with a motorcycle

Quick hits on WWE Tough Enough

For the second week in a row, Ryan and Rima were in the bottom three on Tough Enough. On Monday’s episode, they were joined by Mickael. Just like last week, I thought Ryan was getting the boot, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had other ideas. Realizing that Mickael and Ryan don’t like each other, Austin told Rima she was safe and then had the guys cut promos on each other. Ryan won the verbal battle in a rout, and Austin cut Mickael. I’m amazed that Ryan survived again, but I can’t say I’m unhappy that Mickael is gone. I didn’t see much in him to begin with, and he came off like a jerk much of the time.

• There were actually two eliminations this week, as Michelle quit because she couldn’t handle being away from her family. I don’t think she would have been around much longer anyway.
• Luke has emerged as the clear favorite to win the competition. At this point, I don’t see anyone posing much of a threat to him, although it’s still early. He’s in the best shape of all the competitors (as he proved by easily finishing first in the running challenge), has a good look and – judging by his simulated match with Austin – seems to know what he’s doing in the ring.
• The Big Show said that when he walked into the room, his eyes immediately gravitated to Eric. I totally agree with him. At first glance, Eric looks more like a WWE star than any of his peers simply because of his height. It’s become obvious, though, that he has a ways to go as far as his conditioning.
• It was nice to see Baltimore’s own Stacy Keibler make a cameo appearance.

WWE Raw: John Morrison learns that The Truth hurts- Sky World

When R-Truth earned a spot in the main event of the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on Raw last week, I wrote that I had a feeling his sudden elevation was a means to turning him heel.
I didn’t necessarily expect it to happen on the very next episode, but R-Truth did indeed embrace his bad side on Raw Monday night.
The angle that turned him got off to an inauspicious start, but it ended on a high note.
He opened the show with a promo in which he was being so over-the-top giddy about getting the WWE title shot at Extreme Rules that it was obvious that a heel turn was imminent.
John Morrison then came out and challenged R-Truth to put his spot in the title bout on the line against him. He basically tricked R-Truth into agreeing to it.
The verbal exchange between Morrison and R-Truth was clunky to say the least, and the segment was dying a slow death in front of the live crowd in London. I was begging for John Cena, or The Miz or anybody to come out and save it.
Things picked up considerably, however, after Morrison defeated R-Truth to take his spot in the pay-per-view match (so now it will be Miz versus Cena versus Morrison).
Morrison celebrated at first, but then tempered his enthusiasm after realizing that his good fortune came at the expense of his friend. R-Truth stewed about it for a few moments and then snapped.
He delivered a stern beatdown to Morrison that included two running knees to the head. Appearing to be conflicted over his actions, R-Truth helped Morrison up but then threw him back down and continued the assault.
At one point, R-Truth lit up a cigarette and blew smoke over the fallen Morrison’s body. That was a nice touch. Earlier in the segment, Morrison had kidded him about being an athlete who smokes.
I’m looking forward to see where things go from here with R-Truth, who has shown in the past in other promotions that he can be an effective heel.
Other thoughts on Monday’s show:
It was announced that the draft will take place on next week’s show. ...
The Randy Orton-CM Punk main event was good and the crowd was really hot for it. There were some great near falls, including one sequence in which Orton went for the draping DDT, Punk countered with a GTS attempt, Orton went for an RKO attempt and Punk landed a roundhouse kick. I did think the finish was a bit anti-climactic, though, as Orton ducked one of Punk’s kicks and simply rolled him up for the pin. ...
I’m not sure what to make of the Orton-Punk post-match angle. After The Nexus attacked Orton, Mason Ryan wanted to punt Orton in the head, but Punk stopped him. Then when Punk went to deliver the kick, Orton sprang up and hit the RKO on him. ...
The bit with a Queen Elizabeth lookalike knighting Michael Cole and then Jim Ross being forced to kiss Cole’s foot probably sounded good on paper, but I thought it fell a little flat. ...
I was surprised to see Cole and Jack Swagger back on good terms already. I figured WWE would stretch that story line out for a couple more weeks. ...
Sin Cara got a nice rub by being in a tag team match with the likes of Cena and The Miz. Cara looked a little tentative at times but still had a decent showing overall, as he and Cena defeated Miz and Alex Riley. I liked that Cara scored the winning pin instead of Cena. ...
I’m not sure changing Dolph Ziggler’s look is a great idea. With his new generic haircut, he looks like he should be back in the Spirit Squad. Perhaps I’m just partial to bleached-blond hair. ...
It appears that Ziggler’s new ’do is part of a reboot for him, as he was introduced by Vickie Guerrero as “new and improved.” Ziggler Version 2.0 got off to a good start, as he defeated Evan Bourne in about two minutes. ...
Nearly all of Awesome Kong’s face was visible in this week’s vignette. The speculation is that she will go by the name Kharma. ...
Brie Bella told Eve that she may never get her rematch for the WWE Divas title if she gets drafted to Smackdown. Huh? I thought the Divas champ defended the title on both shows.

Hong Kong Super Sixes- Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir will probe for inquiry - Sources

Lahore- Routers, Pakistan Cricket Board will probe Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik in inquiry because of the news of Match fixers involvement in tournament.Imran Nazir gave 48 runs in last over of the final which cause Pakistan to lose the final.It was also seen during final that Top 2 batsman like Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik didn't perform in final match the even didn't score more than 15 runs.Young Ahmed Shahzad was seen showing full effort in the match he first score 30 and timed out and than he came to bat and scored 94+ on the board.Pakistan gave 110+ target to Australia in which all effort was given by Ahmed Shahzad.

In reply Pakistani Bowlers bowled well.Shabbir Ahmed bowled splendid spell.In last over Australia needed 48 runs in 8 balls.Ahmed Shahzad who is also a all-rounder asked skipper Shoaib Malik to bowl but he rejected him and gave over to Imran Nazir who is not a bowler.Imran Nazir over is doubtful for any sportsman and sports lover.

Even in a moment when Australian skipper Warner was timed out and bowlers was on the pitch and Bowlers gave chance to Shahzad to run out him but Shahzad didn't out him.But Malik ordered him to run out if any batsmen was out of the line.

Women should wear Skirts in Badminton - BWF

Kuala Lumpur-APF , BWF (Badminton World Federation) has set compulsory a rule that Women badminton player should wear Skirt in future Badminton tournament from onward 1st May 2011.BWF did this to make tournament more attractive and more sexy.

Former badminton players criticizes this step of  BWF.They said that BWF should review their step.Some countries like Islamic countries has not in their culture to wear skirt for women.So BWF should withdraw this rule.

World Champion Players Can Lee Chong Wei , Sara Khan and Palwasha Bashir criticizes this rule.They said its a decision of Players in every sports , what to wear or what to not.No federation can restricts any players for wearing any clothes in game.