The Reuters global sports blog
from Reuters Soccer Blog:
There has not been one since 1960, the Scottish don’t want its return, neither do the Welsh, nor the Northern Irish and yet the prospect of a British soccer team at the 2012 London Olympics remains.
The English Football Association is refusing to relinquish an idea that nobody else seems to care about.
The other home nations’ standpoint, which centres on protecting their independent status within world governing body FIFA, means any British team in London could be made up entirely of English players, or more accurately, the majority of the England under-21 team.
“What a farce it would be to have those qualification games in Wales and Scotland without the possibility of British participation,” UK Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said this week, before stating that English players will be used if the issue is not resolved.
England and their captain Andrew Strauss were slammed from every direction for their safety-first declaration on the final day of the last test against the West Indies – which merely spared them the criticism they should have got for their performance on the first two days.
Strauss said it was a match he was prepared to lose to give himself the chance to win it and square the series, yet from the toss he went about his task as if he was facing the Windies of old rather than the nervy side desperate to secure a draw any way they could.
Here’s Sports Pictures editor Greg Bos’s view: Photographer Phil Brown captured a superb action moment from the cricket match between England and the West Indies. He’s got the ball in the frame, the player with both feet off the ground and a clean dark background to make the image standout.
ORIGINAL CAPTION: West Indies’ Lendl Simmons reacts to an Amjad Khan bouncer during their cricket test match against England at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain March 8, 2009. REUTERS/Philip Brown
While England’s opponents for the famous urn this summer used their last test match to bleed new talent before the Ashes, it comes as no surprise that England spurned the opportunity to do exactly the same with leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
To those uninitiated with cricket, to hear complaints about a playing surface being ‘flat’ would only further confuse them. As if the game, also hit by tragedy this week, wasn’t complex enough.
Now, a recent trend of high scores has led to criticism from some of the game’s former players, who are equally baffled by pitches that serve up nothing more than run feasts.
In a week when Twenty20 cricket’s highest profile backer fell from grace, the drawn test between West Indies and England provided a strong reminder of the enduring quality of the long-form of the game.
The fraud charges against Allen Stanford have led the England and Wales Cricket Board to end its deal with him, meaning the Stanford-sponsored international Twenty20 events in England will never happen.
Gone are the days when top French rugby players such as Philippe Sella, Thomas Castaignede and Raphael Ibanez were crossing the Channel to improve their skills and make their fortunes, writes Jean-Paul Couret.
French clubs, seemingly immune to the global economic crisis, have reversed the tide and are now threatening to plunder the English Premiership.
U.S. authorities charged Texas billionaire Allen Stanford and three of his companies with “massive ongoing fraud” on Tuesday as federal agents swooped in on his U.S. headquarters.
The England and West Indies cricket boards quickly suspended sponsorship negotiations with the financier following the news.
After the farcical scenes on Friday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, where play in the West Indies v England test was abandoned after just ten balls, the authorities pulled out the stops to get the Antigua Recreation Ground fit for a hastily re-arranged test on Sunday.
While embarrassed that the unloved ‘ Sir Viv’ stadium was unable to put on a game, most locals were delighted at the chance to see international cricket back at the traditional home of Antiguan cricket.