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Friday, April 29, 2011

Ray Illingworth to leave hospital following heart attack

Yorkshire County Cricket president and former England captain Ray Illingworth is hoping to be discharged from hospital following a heart attack.

The 78-year-old was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary on Tuesday after falling ill, but could be sent home over the weekend.
Ray Illingworth could be sent home soon. (Allstar) Ray Illingworth could be sent home soon. (Allstar)
Former president Robin Smith explained that he has spoken to Mr Illingworth's wife and believes he will be allowed to return to his house in Farsley soon.
'The club sends every good wish to Raymond and his family,' he said.
'He is doing a tremendous job as Yorkshire president and we trust it will not be long before he is back with us at Headingley.'
Mr Illingworth captained Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England during his career, scoring 24,134 first-class runs and taking 2,072 wickets.
Cricket fans might also remember him as a BBC commentator - a role he took up after retiring from the sport.
Yorkshire County Cricket Club was founded in 1863 and claims to have the most illustrious history of any of England's first-class counties.

Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne engage in post-match smooching in Jaipur -In respose of Kate & Williams marriage

Most of the world were riveted by Royal Wedding events unfolding in London today. But Elizabeth Hurley was not one of them.

The model's attention was otherwise engaged, far away in Jaipur, India.
Elizabeth was far more interested in cheering her boyfriend Shane Warne on at his cricket game, and the couple engaged in some post-match kissing that would have made the Royal couple blush.
PDA: Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley indulge in some post-match smooching in Jaipur today
PDA: Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley indulge in some post-match smooching in Jaipur today
The 45-year-old has been in India supporting Shane, 41, as he captains the Rajasthan Royals at the Indian Premier League.

Despite replying coyly recently that she and the sportsman were simply 'very good friends,' the pair proved that their very public romance is very much back on in recent days.
On top of their passionate display of affection after Shane's match against the Mumbai Indians, the couple are back to their incessant tweeting.

Number one fan: Shane declared on Twitter that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover' after she cheered on him and his team the Rajasthan Royals
Number one fan: Shane declared on Twitter that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover' after she cheered on him and his team the Rajasthan Royals

Getting into the spirit: The model and businesswoman wore a jewelled bindi on her forehead
Getting into the spirit: The model and businesswoman wore a jewelled bindi on her forehead
Warne commended his girlfriend and her son Damien over Twitter on their support of his team.
He wrote: 'You and D's flag waving was superb today - all the boys appreciate your support v much. Think you are now a cricket lover!'
He added: 'P.S. FYI RR blue top 100% suits you... Hahahaha I secretly think your a 20/20 lover And are converted to cricket !!!!! LOL.'
Miss Hurley replied: 'Yes! Love cricket now,' adding three 'kisses.'


Sweet tweet: Shane suggested that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover'
Sweet tweet: Shane suggested that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover'

Small doses please: The model replied that she had indeed been converted, but not necessarily for five day tests
Small doses please: The model replied that she had indeed been converted, but not necessarily for five day tests
But Elizabeth, who today sported a jewelled bindi on her forehead, also said: 'Not sure I could sit through a 5 dayer though.....unless u bowled throughout.'
Hurley also appeared to have found an alternative supporters' outfit, after bemoaning the uncomfortable nylon shirts.
'My first time wearing a startlingly unpleasant nylon top-confused how these large, sweaty sportsmen stand them?' she wrote on Twitter earlier this week.
The other kiss: Shane and Liz's passionate embrace made Prince William and Kate's kiss look tame
The other kiss: Shane and Liz's passionate embrace made Prince William and Kate's kiss look tame

Her public show of support has sent a message that despite their young romance being rocked by more than one allegations of infidelity on Warne's part, they are still going strong.
In a recent interview Hurley admitted she had first been attracted to Warne because of his nationality.

She said: 'I love Australians. They're very out-doorsey. They're jolly, they make me laugh - their accents amuse me.'

Saturday Sports Fix - what you missed overnight

SEBASTIAN Vettel warns Red Bull of F1 rivals, Aussie Brett Rumford in the Seoul mix, soccer's owl kicker cops it sweet and the lid lifted on Sri Lankan match fixing. Read more below now!
FIXING MATCHES JUST WRECKS THE SPORT
CRICKET - Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Hashan Tillakaratne has admitted that his country had been fixing games since 1992.

The left-handed batsman, who played 83 Tests and 200 one-dayers for Sri Lanka during his 15-year career, said he was prepared to back up his allegations by naming some of those involved.
WHOA.... not that's a heavy accusation.

"Match fixing is something which has been in this country over a period of time. This has spread like a cancer today," Tillakaratne was quoted as saying by Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper.
"According to my knowledge, it happened since 1992.

It's always shocking to hear about this stuff, but I don't why? The moment it comes out and those who are responsible are caught, it's like we always knew. We'll have to keep our eyes on this one to see where it goes.
AUSSIE GOLFER LEADS SEOUL TOURNAMENT
GOLF - Brett Rumford is his name and he leads the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea after a brilliant nine-under-par this morning.
He made his surge in the second round as big names like Ernie Els and Ian Poulter failed to follow his lead and were cut from the competition.

The 33-year-old from Perth barely put a foot wrong... seriously.  He carded nine birdies on his way to a 63. I bet Brett can just smell the $2.9 million.
Check out this cool video of Rumford driving down the course... it's in slow-mo!

Players’ assets should be examined, says Zulqarnain

Zulqarnain Haider revealed he has given important information on fixing to the interior minister.-AP photo
LAHORE: Wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider says the assets of every cricketer in the country should be examined regularly to curb the menace of fixing in cricket.
“Assets of the cricketers [in Pakistan] should be examined every year and the income tax department can play a vital role in this regard,” Zulqarnain said while talking to reporters at his residence here on Friday.
“In Pakistan where many people are struggling for two-time daily meals many cricketers own 15 houses. The whole nation should think about this to end the difference [of living standard] between the people,” added Zulqarnain.
Declining to mention the name of any player who might be involved in fixing business, Zulqarnain reckoned it was not good as the government was already investigating the matter.
He said the other players around the world should also come forward to help those who wanted to eradicate match-fixing and spot-fixing trend in cricket.
Zulqarnain claimed had he not sacrificed his career in Dubai by abandoning the national side to leave for Britain, no progress would have been made to check corrupt elements in cricket.
The player revealed he had given important information on fixing to the interior minister and there was progress in this regard.

ESPN: ASU basketball could play 2 point guards at same time

In a couple months, Jahii Carson and Chris Colvin both will join the Arizona State basketball program. Both play the point. And both could play next season at the same time.
The Sun  have done this in the recent past, with Jamelle McMillan and Derek Glasser, but this has the potential to be different, simply because Carson and Colvin are different guards. Around the Valley, everyone knows about the 5-foot-10 Carson, explosive and flashy out of Mesa High.
Colvin, 6-foot-3, started his career at Iowa State, playing 29 games as a freshman reserve, before transferring to Palm Beach State, where he played last season. "Since I was a little kid, I've been a pass-first guy, big on assists," Colvin said. "That's something that's always been a part of my game."
Said ASU associate head coach Dedrique Taylor: "He's been in the Big  and then he's been in junior college, so he's played at a pretty high level for the last two years, and we're going to need that experience immediately. Also, his ability to get into the paint off the bounce, his ability to play in transition, his leadership, those are all things we're going to need."
Anyone who watched the Sun Devils last season - they finished 12-19, last in the Pac-10 - know where they struggled. Finding easy points, in transition or in the post, was a chore every night. ASU had plenty of guards who could catch a reverse pass and shoot. But penetrating and getting to the rim was another story.
Using Carson and Colvin together would increase ASU's pace. Ideal scenario: Kyle Cain grabs a defensive rebound, outlets to the closest guard and the Sun Devils look to grab something quick, putting pressure on the defense. If that doesn't work, ASU slow ups and flows into the motion offense, setting ball screens to create mismatches and open looks.
But the main point is to just get ASU's best players on the court, regardless of position. Taylor points to last season's NCAA championship game. Connecticut freshman Shabazz Napier didn't start, but at crucial moments he teamed with Kemba Walker in the backcourt, relieving Walker of some play-making responsibilities. (Note: You might see this a lot in next season's Pac-12. Arizona has the personnel - with MoMo Jones, Jordin Mayes, Kyle Fogg and freshmen Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson - to do it as well as anybody. And Washington has two great passers in Abdul Gaddy and freshman Tony Wroten.)
Another example:
"Look at the Denver Nuggets," Taylor said, "Since their trade with the Knicks, they have played extremely well with Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton on the floor together. ... Because when Kenyon Martin gets the ball off the board, he's out-letting it to one of those two guys and they're racing up the floor. It's hell to pay for the defense when you have two guys on the floor who can push the ball that fast."
The potential result: Greater opportunities in transition, which is something ASU has talked about a lot in the past, but struggled to make happen.
"You have to be able to create X amount of points in transition," Taylor said. "It's such a pivotal part of the game. And I wouldn't say that's something we've done well, even when we had Derek and James (Harden). James wasn't a runner, and Derek wasn't a blazing guard, someone that could just get by people in the open floor. He was more controlled, get us in the flow and then BOOM, you make a mistake and he makes you pay for it. But he wasn't going to blow by you off the bounce, which is why I think Jahii and Chris give us a different option."

Men's basketball: New FGCU coach off to quick start on recruiting trail

— Florida Gulf Coast University men's basketball coach Andy Enfield has his second signee, and perhaps an eventual starting backcourt for years to come.
Shooting guard Bernard Thompson (6-foot-3, 180 pounds), of Conyers (Ga.)-Rockdale County High has signed his national letter of intent and will join Winter Park point guard Brett Comer (6-3) as new Eagles for Enfield, who was hired March 31.
Thompson, whom Enfield recruited during four of his five years as an assistant at Florida State, chose FGCU, which will be in its first season of Division I postseason eligibility next season, over East Carolina, Georgia State, Murray State, Northeastern, Wright State and Virginia Commonwealth, a Final Four team last season.
Thompson averaged 17.0 points and 6.5 rebounds during his senior season as Rockdale County finished as Georgia’s Class 4A runner-up for coach Alvin Williams.
“We’re really excited to have Bernard come to our program,” Enfield said. “He’s such a talented player. He plays hard on both ends of the court. He has a very explosive first step and he’s a heck of a defensive player. Bernard did whatever he had to do to help the team win. Some games he was the leading scorer. Some games he was the leading rebounder. Some games he was both.
“Bernard gives us some explosiveness that this program needs.”
Thompson could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon, but Williams, whose roster also included junior Kevin Ware, a Tennessee commitment, gushed about Thompson.
“I tell you what, that kid’s a steal,” Williams said. “Bernard’s an all-around player. I mean he can defend the other team’s best guard and he can do anything offensively the defense gives him. If they give him that long jumper, he takes it and makes it. If they give him that lane where he can pull up, he makes it. And he is explosive going to the basket. Big-time players play big in big-time games. In the playoffs he carried us big-time.
“I have a very talented team here, but out of all of that talent, Bernard is the most mature player — meaning that he’s ready to go play in college right now.”
Wrote ESPN.com’s Mike LaPlante: “ It seems that every year after the holiday tournaments there are a handful of players that emerge with an increased profile and major recruiting buzz. Count Rockdale County (Ga.) High School’s Bernard Thompson, who has gone from a relative unknown to one of the most talked about names on the recruiting circuit, as one of them.
“I got the chance to watch Thompson compete in three different tournaments during the later part of December and I came away impressed with his basketball IQ and upside. He is a long, rangy guard that can shoot it from 3 and is deceptively athletic. He attacked the lane in transition at the Chick-fil-a Classic and finished with a left-handed jam that caught everyone off guard and had the college coaches in attendance buzzing.”
Comer, who signed on Monday, was named an all-state first teamer by the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches after averaging 10.2 points, 6.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game as a senior last season when he helped lead Winter Park its second straight Class 6A title. He scored in double figures 18 times and had six double-doubles.
ESPN.com rated Comer as the 51st-best point guard in the country and he canceled visits to Colorado State and Massachusetts after committing to FGCU.
“Our coaching staff, we’re excited,” Enfield said. “We think Bernard and Brett complement the players we have very well. We expect them to contribute as freshmen and be big-time college basketball players. With any freshman, it takes some time, but they’re talented enough to be excellent players for us, and they really complement each other well.”

Southern Miss dismisses Darnell Dodson from team

Veteran guard Darnell Dodson has been dismissed from the Southern Mississippi basketball program following his arrest on theft charges, the Hattiesburg American reports.
The newspaper quoted university police chief Bob Hopkins as saying Dodson was arrested along with another former USM player, Cory Markell Smith, on felony charges of automobile burglary and residential burglary.
Kentucky's Darnell Dodson (3) is fouled by Morehead State's Demonte Harper during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. (AP Photo)
Golden Eagles coach Larry Eustachy released a statement Thursday that said Dodson was being dismissed from the team, although he did not cite a reason.
The alleged crime occurred at a Southern Mississippi fraternity house.
"Members returned to the residence and saw two black males in the residence before they fled out the back door," Hopkins told the paper. "They gave us basic descriptions.
"We stopped and talked to one individual, who was later identified as Dodson. There was a preliminary investigation done at that time. He was released to be back in our office the next morning. He came back and the investigators interviewed him and through that interview and the available evidence, we were able to make an arrest."
Dodson and his alleged accomplice were being held on $20,000 bond.
Dodson spent the 2009-10 season at Kentucky, where he averaged 6 points for the Wildcats' Elite Eight team. He was not welcomed to return for 2010-11, for reasons never specified by coach John Calipari. In January, Dodson chose to transfer to Southern Miss.

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Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations

The Celtics GM made his weekly appearance with Michael and Glenn and helped up put the wraps on the sweep over the Knicks and preview the showdown with the two Big Three's as the Celts take on the Heat in round two of the NBA Playoffs.

Ball State stuns Western Michigan in MAC men's tennis tournament- FOX NEWS

KALAMAZOO – The semifinals of the Mid-American Conference men’s tennis tournament didn’t start off very well for No. 1 seed Western Michigan University.

It ended even worse.

The Broncos had their streak of five straight MAC tournament titles end on Friday when No. 3 Ball State stunned WMU, 4-3, at the Sorensen Courts. Ball State will play the winner of No. 2 Toledo and No. 4 Buffalo on Saturday in the championship match. The tourney winner receives the MAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

Western had defeated Ball State, 7-0, earlier in the season, but several of the matches were close.

The Cardinals put themselves in control of the semifinal right off the bat when they won the doubles point by taking two of the three doubles matches. When Western held a 3-2 lead after four of the singles matches had ended, Ball State’s Andres Monroy topped Casey Cullen, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 at fifth singles to tie the match.

BSU’s Cliff Morrison then beat Simon Blomberg, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at No. 3 singles to clinch the Cardinals’ victory.

Western’s only two players to win both of their matches were the top two singles players, seniors Michael Calderone and Kazuya Komada. The two teamed to win their No. 1 doubles match before Calderone topped Dalton Albertin, 7-6, 7-6, at No. 1 singles and Komada beat Zane Smith, 6-1,6-0, at No. 2.

Tennis Odds: Soderling Wants to Beat Nadal- ESPN

Robin-soderlingRobin Soderling feels his tennis odds are still good to beat Rafael Nadal in the upcoming clay court season, which is a favourite of Nadal and tennis betting fans.
“He’s a great player, especially on clay,” the world number five Swede said Monday.

“But you have to go to the court thinking that you have a chance. Otherwise, what’s the point? Nadal is the best on clay ever but he can be beaten. You just have to play your best tennis and have some luck.”

And some think that luck is what is needed to improve the number 5 ranked Soderling’s tennis odds.
Soderling has had the opportunity to beat Nadal in 2009 in the fourth round of the French Open, where he went on lose to Roger Federer. Soderling defeated Nadal 6–2 6–7 (2-7) 6–4 7–6 (7-2) at Roland Garros.
Tennis odds hopefully are improving for the Swede after Achilles tendon and knee trouble kept him away from tennis betting.
“I wanted to play in Monte Carlo but I wasn’t ready. The clay season is long and now I’m injury-free. I feel ready to play well. This will be a tough tournament with a lot of guys who can win.”

“But I’m feeling good with my game and I’ve had two and a half weeks of practice on the clay. I have to be counted among the favourites,” said the Swede.
World number two in Novak Djokovic, who is on a 24-0 winning record this season will be on clay for the first time this season at home in Belgrade this week and could also be quite the contender for top tennis odds.

“It’s very even at the top of the game. Djokovic has beaten Rafa twice this year (hardcourt) but clay is totally different. Nadal is good on everything, but on clay he’s even better.”

Federer is currently 1000 ranking points behind world No.2 Novak Djokovic, who is 3000 ranking points behind Nadal, meaning the three are likely to stay in their places for a little while longer for tennis betting.

Lady Demon tennis' title defense starts Friday



SAN ANTONIO -- Northwestern State has had another impressive regular season, but for the Lady Demons tennis team, having a taste of last year's NCAA Tournament has them eager to return by defending their Southland Conference Tournament title beginning Friday morning against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Lady Demons (16-5 overall, 9-2 in the Southland) edged the Lady Islanders (12-5, 7-4) in a tightly contested 4-3 decision in the third conference match of the season in early March at Corpus Christi.
Andrea Nedorostova and Martina Rubesova rallied from 5-2 down to an 8-5 win in the No. 2 doubles match, securing the doubles point with an 8-5 win, then swept their singles matches in a pair of hard-fought victories.
Nedorostova prevailed 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the No. 4 position to clinch the match for the Lady Demons. Rubesova won 6-1, 7-5 in the No. 3 singles spot. Four of the six singles went three sets.
"Everything we've done in the fall and spring has been designed to get us to this point, going into the weekend in the best possible position to win this tournament and get back to the NCAA Tournament," said first-year coach Luc Godin. "It's much tougher than it was a year ago because the competitive level of play has really improved in our conference.
"We were very fortunate to win in our first match against Corpus Christi and we'll need to be at our best to have a chance to succeed Friday," said Godin.
The match will begin at 9 a.m. at the Texas-San Antonio Tennis Center. The winner advances to a 9 a.m. Saturday semifinal against either second-seeded Lamar or No. 7 Sam Houston State. Top-seeded Texas-Arlington, the regular season champion, is on the other side of the bracket trying to reach the Sunday championship match.
The Lady Demons are 37-7 over the past two years, including a 23-2 mark against Southland foes.
Nedorostova and Rubesova are 25-0 in doubles against Southland tandems in two years.
Kathrin Lange can take over second place on the school career doubles victory list Friday if she and all-time leader Bianca Schulz prevail in their No. 3 match. Lange is tied for second at 63 with former career queen Karen Patel (1988-91).
Lange, Schulz, No. 1 doubles tandem Olga Bazhanova and Adna Curukovic, and Rubesova are graduating seniors.

Tennis-Feisty Djokovic steamrolls into Serbia Open semis

World number two Novak Djokovic settled an old score with a childhood rival when he beat Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-3 6-2 on Friday to reach the Serbia Open semi-finals.
The 23-year old Serb, who will meet compatriot and close friend Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday for a berth in Sunday's final, showed some nerves in the second set before he stretched his unbeaten run in 2011 to 26 matches.
Djokovic was 4-1 up when the umpire ordered play to continue despite heavy rain and facing a break point, the home favourite sat down and waited for the slippery lines to be mopped up before he dropped his serve.
But it was only a temporary blip as the winner of this year's Australian Open, Dubai Championships and Master series events in Miami and Indian Wells regained his composure to seal the match in 1 hour 25 minutes.
"I remember very well losing to Kavcic 10 years ago in an under-14 tournament, I haven't forgotten the result either and I had a score to settle here today," Djokovic said with a wry smile in a courtside interview.
"We grew up together and I really wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
"Pressure is part of the game, especially in front of your own fans but it's also a very special feeling to be here and I am looking forward to playing against Janko.
"The most important thing is that Serbia will have one player in the final and may the best player win what should be a very entertaining match," he said.
Djokovic looked sharp in the opening set and won 14 of 16 points on his first serve, getting the crowd on their feet with a reflex volley and some delightful backhand winners.
He fired in 18 winners throughout the one-sided contest and appeared to leave a lot in the tank for the showdown with Tipsarevic, who beat India's Somdev Devvarman 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a rip-roaring contest which lasted 2 hours 38 minutes.
Djokovic won both their previous encounters but Tipsarevic said he was looking forward to face his Davis Cup team mate, who steered Serbia to their first title in the competition when they edged France 3-2 in the Belgrade Arena last December.
"It will be a good test of my credentials and it will show where I stand at the moment, as playing against the world's best is the only barometer of one's quality," Tipsarevic said.
Italian Filippo Volandri brushed aside Marcel Granollers 6-2 6-4 to set up a last-four meeting with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who beat compatriot Albert Montanes 6-4 6-4.

Briton Naomi Cavaday retires from tennis

Naomi Cavaday
Cavaday plans to concentrate on coaching in the future


British number five Naomi Cavaday has retired from professional tennis at the age of 22.
The Kent-born left-hander reached a career-high ranking of 174 last May, and is currently 231st in the world.
Cavaday, who battled depression and an eating disorder during her six-year career, will now focus on becoming a coach at the Lawn Tennis Association.
"What a fantastic opportunity I have had and I am so proud of what I have achieved," she said.
In a statement on the LTA website, Cavaday added: "Throughout my career I have had big struggles with an eating disorder and depression, but I'm pleased to say that I have worked through and overcome these issues and I am now in a great place to be able to make this decision, even though it has been a difficult decision to make.
"I want to be honest about what I have been through to raise awareness of these difficulties that many people go through and athletes are no exception."
Cavaday, who won a clay-court title in Brescia on the second-tier ITF tour last April, has not played in 2011.
She played in the main draw at Wimbledon three times, losing to Ai Sugiyama in 2006, Martina Hingis in 2007 - after holding two match points - and Venus Williams in 2008.
Cavaday turned down a wildcard for last year's Wimbledon and chose to enter the qualifying tournament, saying after defeat by Andrea Hlavackova: "I don't regret my decision.
"It was the right thing to do and with how I was playing I definitely could have qualified."
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