Month: September 2020

Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgA-Rod interested in buying MetsNEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets were very interested in acquiring Alex Rodriguez through free agency almost 20 years. The situation is now reversed.A-Rod and fiancee Jennifer Lopez have retained J.P. Morgan to represent them in raising capital for a possible bid for the Mets. The move was first reported by Variety and confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the decision.The three-time AL MVP retired in August 2016 with 698 home runs, a .295 average and 2,086 RBIs in 22 years. He was suspended for the 2014 season for violations of Major League Baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.BASEBALL-MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACTION April 21, 2020 Gronkowski’s agent says the tight end is about to come out of retirement and has accepted a trade to the Buccaneers. The Patriots also would send a seventh-round pick to the Bucs for a fourth-rounder.The deal is pending a physical and would give Brady one of his most dependable pass-catchers. Brady signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Bucs last month.Gronkowski has caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 regular-season games. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has another 81 catches for 1,163 yards and 12 TDs in 16 playoff games.The tight end position already was considered one of Tampa Bay’s biggest strengths, with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate teaming with Pro Bowl receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. They form the best collection of targets Brady has had to work with in more than a decade.MLB-A-ROD-METS The Playing Rules Oversight Panel also approved the rules change no longer requiring players to head to the locker room after being penalized for targeting. All other aspects of the rule discouraging above-the-shoulders contact remain the same.SOUTH KOREA-BASEBALLSouth Korean season to begin in May without fansSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s professional baseball league has decided to begin its season on May 5.The games will be played without fans until the risk of infection from the coronavirus is gone. Update on the latest in sports: Curtis helped the Colts win a Super Bowl during a 14-year career spent predominantly in Baltimore. He earned the nickname “Mad Dog” because of his fierce play in the middle of a strong Baltimore defense. His interception in the waning minutes of the 1970 Super Bowl set up the winning field goal in the Colts’ win over Dallas.Mike Curtis was 77 years old.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 In other college basketball news:— Ball State guard K.J. Walton will return for his sixth college season after receiving a waiver from the NCAA and the approval of the Mid-American Conference. The former Missouri player sat out the 2017-18 because of college basketball’s transfer rule and played just 10 games last season because of an ankle injury that required surgery. He has started 35 games of the 42 he’s appeared in with the Cardinals and averages 11.7 points and 4.5 rebounds.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NCAA RULESNCAA alters video reviews, targeting rulesINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA has announced a pace-of-play guideline for instant replay officials to complete video reviews in less than two minutes of a college football game. The Spanish club’s executive board says it will donate the entire fee raised by selling the title rights to the Camp Nou to fighting the global pandemic. The Camp Nou has never had a sponsor since it opened in 1957.In other virus-related developments:— Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson admits it was “bad timing.” The Baltimore Ravens quarterback threw footballs to teammate Marquise Brown and former NFL star Antonio Brown during an informal workout in Florida on April 1, without regard to social distancing. Jackson told reporters today that he’s now working out alone.— The deputy head of Germany’s national disease control center has cautioned against coronavirus testing for soccer players in order to restart the league. Regular testing of players and team staff is a key element of a plan to resume German soccer in empty stadiums next month. Robert Koch Institute vice president Lars Schaade says he doesn’t “see why certain sections of the population … should be routinely screened.” Schaade says he would prefer testing to be focused on people who show symptoms or who are linked to an outbreak of the virus.— The men’s and women’s professional tennis tours plan to create a player relief fund to help those in the sport dealing with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The ATP and WTA say they are in discussions with the International Tennis Federation and the four Grand Slam tournaments. Neither tour provided any specifics about how much money they are pooling or how it will be distributed. No tournaments will be played before mid-July at the earliest. Associated Press center_img Conflict over who will pay for the Olympic delayTOKYO (AP) — An open conflict has broken out between Tokyo Olympic organizers and the IOC over who will be paying for the unprecedented year-long postponement.Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya says the organizing committee asked the Switzerland-based IOC to remove a comment from its website suggesting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that Japan would pay most of the postponement costs.Media reports in Japan estimate the year-long delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic will cost $2 billion to $6 billion.Takaya says it was not appropriate for Abe’s name to be linked. The IOC removed the reference. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-BUCCANEERS-GRONKOWSKIBucs acquiring GronkTAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski spent nine seasons catching passes from Tom Brady in New England. The two are about to reunite in Tampa Bay. The league plans to maintain a 144-game regular-season schedule but has decided scrap its all-star game and shorten the first round of the playoffs from a best-of-five to best-of-three series.The KBO says it could shorten the regular season if infections erupt. The league will advise players to wear face masks in locker rooms and require them to download smartphone apps to report their daily health status to league officials.SOCCER-BARCELONA STADIUMNaming rights to be sold to iconic Barcelona stadium to benefit virus fightBARCELONA (AP) — Barcelona’s soccer team will sell the title rights to its famed stadium for one year in an effort to raise money for the fight against the coronavirus. COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWSBulls punished for recruiting issuesUNDATED (AP) — The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team has been placed on one-year probation after a former assistant coach was found to have forged recruiting documents.Buffalo also was fined $5,000, agreed to a two-week ban on communicating with potential recruits and reduced its recruiting days by five for the 2020-21 season.The decision was announced by the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference school as part of a negotiated resolution reached today. The school said it self-reported the infractions in October and cooperated with the NCAA investigation. — The Associated Press has learned the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is bracing for cuts of 10% to 20% because of the coronavirus pandemic that has pushed the Olympics back one year and triggered losses across the nation’s sports organizations. The AP received a copy of a letter CEO Sarah Hirshland sent to leaders across the U.S. Olympic world in which she said the exact nature of the cuts would be determined by the end of May.NFL-OBIT-CURTISFormer Colts linebacker Mike Curtis dead at 77ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The hard-hitting, no-nonsense linebacker Mike Curtis has died. He died Monday in St. Petersburg, Florida.Son Clay says on Twitter his father died of “complications from CTE,” a degenerative brain disease. Djokovic says he may reconsider stance on vaccinationBELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Novak Djokovic has reiterated he is against taking an anti-coronavirus vaccination if it becomes mandatory to travel, but says he’s open to changing his mind.The top-ranked Djokovic caused a stir when he suggested in a live Facebook chat over the weekend that if a vaccination becomes compulsory on the world tennis tour then he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone” to take it.Djokovic says in a statement emailed to the AP that despite his personal objection to a vaccine, “if it becomes compulsory, I will have to make a decision whether to do it or not.”OLYMPICS-POSTPONEMENT COSTS Minor leagues prepared to accept contraction planNEW YORK (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the minor leagues are prepared to agree to Major League Baseball’s proposal to cut guaranteed affiliations from 160 to 120 next year.The plan would impact hundreds of prospects and cut player development expenses. An electronic negotiating session is scheduled for Wednesday.MLB last year proposed cutting 42 affiliates. The minors have fought the plan, but the new coronavirus pandemic has changed the dynamic and sapped minor league teams of revenue and willingness to fight.VIRUS OUTBREAK-DJOKOVIClast_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_img April 30, 2020 Update on the latest in sports: — The Tampa Bay Rays are the first Major League Baseball team known to plan furloughs of some full-time employees because of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to a person familiar with the decision who told The Associated Press they temporary cost-cutting measures will take effect on Saturday.— The LPGA Tour is pushing back the restart of its season at least another month. The target now is a tournament in Michigan on July 15-18, and that depends on whether it’s safe to return. The tour was hopeful of resuming June 19-21 in Arkansas. Commissioner Mike Whan says it’s not about being the first sport to be back but being safe. And he says the next three events on the new schedule — in Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey — will only be played if the coronavirus situation allows for it. The season-ending event in Florida would end on Dec. 20.— International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says the future of sports after the coronavirus pandemic might mean fewer international events. In a letter to Olympic officials and athletes worldwide, Bach says “the current health crisis will lead to a long and deep economic crisis” which will affect sports. He says “governments must include sport in their economic support programs” so it can be part of a worldwide recovery.— The head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says he disagrees with suggestions by some scientists and doctors that a vaccine for COVID-19 is needed to hold the games. John Coates says the advice from the World Health Organization is to continue to plan for the 2021 Olympics, and he says, “that is what we’re doing.” The president of the Japan Medical Association president said Tuesday that it would only be possible for the Olympics to go ahead in July 2021 if the infections were under control, not only in Japan, but globally.— Switzerland’s federal government says professional sports teams can resume training on May 11, with a view to playing games in empty stadiums four weeks later. The government is set to make a final decision on May 27 as to whether games can resume in June. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-HALL OF FAME-POSTPONEMENTBaseball Hall pushes back 2020 induction ceremonyUNDATED (AP) — Derek Jeter was a first-ballot Hall of Famer a few months ago, but he will have to wait an extra year to be inducted at Cooperstown. Verge turning proUNDATED (AP) — The list of underclassmen interested in the upcoming NBA draft continues to swell.Alonzo Verge Jr. has become the third Arizona State player to declare for the draft. The junior guard joined Remy Martin and Romello White among the 205 underclassmen so far on the league’s official list. Players have until June 3 to remove their names from the June 25 draft.Verge played 28 games and made nine starts for the Sun Devils last season, averaging 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists.Also declaring Wednesday were Utah sophomore guard Timmy Allen, Creighton forward Damien Jefferson and Southern California guard Elijah Weaver. The 6-foot-6 Allen earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors from the AP after averaging 17.3 points, 7.3 boards and 3.0 assists for the Utes last season. — Bryan Cox. Jr. has inked a one-year contract with the Bulls after splitting last season between Carolina and Cleveland. Bryan Cox Sr. was a 12-year NFL linebacker and best known in Buffalo for antagonizing the Bills and their fans during his five seasons with the Dolphins.— The Colts now have two kickers under contract for next season while the NFL’s career scoring leader, Adam Vinatieri, remains a free agent. Indianapolis signed Rodrigo Blankenship to join fellow kicker Chase McLaughlin.— Former Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith has been arrested on a charge of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. The 29-year-old Smith was booked into the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Jail Wednesday and was being held on a $50,003 bond. No details or police report was immediately available.— The NFL has renewed its streaming deal with Amazon for Thursday night games for three years. Amazon Prime Video and Twitch also will have exclusive streaming rights to one additional regular-season game in 2020. Amazon Prime Video and Twitch will stream 11 Thursday night games broadcast by Fox, giving access to more than 150 million paid Prime members.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NBA NHL-RED WINGS MOVESRed Wings sign high-scoring SwedeUNDATED (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings have signed left wing Mathias Brome to a one-year contract, adding one of the leading scorers from the Swedish Hockey League last season.The 25-year-old Brome had a career-high 43 points last season, leading Orebro HK with 17 goals and 26 assists. Brome averaged 33 points over three seasons in the SHL.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS — Italy’s sports minister says it is increasingly unlikely the soccer season will resume. He says even though professional sports teams have been given the go-ahead to resume training on May 18, “resuming training absolutely does not mean resuming the season.” The French government called off the season in that country Tuesday.— UEFA’s (yoo-AY’-fahz) leading medical official at the Union of European Football Associations says soccer competitions should be able to resume this season. Tim Meyer says all soccer organizations planning for resumptions need to produce “comprehensive protocols dictating sanitary and operational conditions” to ensure the health of those involved in the games is protected. Meyer says “it is definitely possible to plan the restart of competitions suspended during the 2019-20 season” under these conditions and if local legislation is respected.— Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova are scheduled to compete in a video game tennis tournament for charity called the “Stay at Home Slam.” The IMG agency says Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori (kay nee-shee-KOHR’-ee) are also participating Sunday. Participants will each pick a charity to receive a $25,000 donation and the winner will choose who gets an additional $1 million donation.COLLEGE SPORTS-SULLIVAN AWARDIonescu, Lee share Sullivan NCAA board supports name, image and likeness compensationUNDATED (AP) — The NCAA has announced that its Board of Governors supports a plan that gives athletes the ability to cash in on their names, images and likenesses as never before and without involvement from the association, schools or conferences. Ohio State President and board chairman Michael Drake called it an “unprecedented” move by the NCAA.The next step is for membership to draft legislation by Oct. 30. Plenty of details still need to be worked out, including how to ensure that these sponsorship deals aren’t being used as improper inducements to recruits. A formal vote will be taken by schools at the next convention in January and new rules will go into effect no later than the 2021-22 academic year.NFL-NEWSAP Source: Goodell reduces salary to $0 The Hall of Fame has announced that it has canceled the July 26 induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the class will be included with any additional new choices at next year’s induction festivities.Jeter’s class includes outfielder Larry Walker and catcher Ted Simmons, along with former union head Marvin Miller.A record crowd of over 70,000 had been expected this summer at the small town in upstate New York to honor Jeter, the former Yankees captain who came within one vote of unanimous election in January.This will be the first year without an induction ceremony since 1960.NCAA-COMPENSATING ATHLETES Associated Press Leading plan for NHL return includes empty rinksUNDATED (AP) — The leading plan for hockey coming back this summer involves playing at a few empty NHL arenas to finish the season and award the Stanley Cup.Unknowns about the coronavirus have kept the league working on multiple scenarios. A person familiar with discussions tells The Associated Press the most aggressive timetable would have players returning to their home rinks as early as May 15, followed by a training camp in June. The regular season, featuring some if not all 31 teams would then begin in July, with the Cup awarded in September.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Several Major League Baseball teams have announced ticket refund policies for games not played through May because of the virus outbreak. The Cleveland Indians have offered a 10% bonus credit for fans who want to apply what they’ve paid to future games. The Boston Red Sox extended a similar bonus credit to season ticket holders. Spring training was suspended on March 12 and the regular season was delayed from its scheduled March 26 start because of the new coronavirus pandemic. A revised schedule has not been announced. MLB is exploring many options to play this year if it’s deemed safe. — Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland faces a total of five charges, including resisting arrest and drug possession, after he was seen smoking marijuana in South Carolina. A York County sheriff’s deputy drew his gun on Breeland, who is also charged with resisting arrest. He was released on $2,362.50 bond after spending more than nine hours in jail. He had an interception and a team-high seven tackles in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over San Francisco in February.— Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre (fahrv) says Aaron Rodgers was surprised by Green Bay’s decision to draft a quarterback in the first round. Favre said Wednesday on “The Rich Eisen Show” that he had spoken with Rodgers since the Packers traded up four spots in the first round to take Utah State’s Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick in the draft Thursday. Rodgers has four years remaining on his contract, but Favre also told Eisen that “my gut tells me” the two-time MVP won’t finish his career in Green Bay.— The Falcons say they are taking a “wait-and-see approach” with defensive end Takk McKinley’s future with the team. For now, the Falcons say they are declining their fifth-year option with McKinley for 2021. McKinley, a first-round pick in 2017, has 16 1/2 sacks through three seasons.— The Ravens have exercised the fifth-year option on All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey, keeping him under contract through 2021. Humphrey was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2019 after a season in which he reached career highs with 65 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.— The Cowboys have agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Daryl Worley after grabbing two corners in last week’s draft. Worley spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Raiders after playing his first two NFL seasons with Carolina. UNDATED (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced his salary to zero, according to a person familiar with the move. The person told The Associated Press that Goodell voluntarily had his salary reduced this month. He makes upward of $30 million a year from salaries and bonuses.Other NFL employees will be taking pay cuts or furloughs due to the coronavirus pandemic.The league is implementing tiered reductions in base salary, beginning with the pay period ending May 22. The reduction will be 5% for workers up to the manager’s level, 7% for directors, 10% for vice presidents, 12% for senior vice presidents, and 15% for executive vice presidents.In a memo sent to league office staffers, Goodell also said no employee earning a base salary of less than $100,000 will be affected by these reductions, and no employee’s salary will be reduced below $100,000 by the reductions.In other NFL news: UNDATED (AP) — Oregon women’s basketball star Sabrina Ionescu and Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee shared the Sullivan Award as the country’s top amateur athlete.Ionescu swept every major women’s basketball award, including being a unanimous choice as the AP player of the year. She had an NCAA-record 26 career triple-doubles and was the first NCAA player – men’s or women’s – to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.Lee was 18-0 for the Hawkeyes this year as a junior before the season was stopped. The 125-pounder won NCAA titles his first two seasons.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

The Latest: Michigan-Kentucky hoops game in London postponed

first_imgThe Latest: Michigan-Kentucky hoops game in London postponed ___Japan’s beloved high school baseball tournament has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.The tournament is a huge annual event in Japan and is followed much the way Americans follow the college basketball tournament.The Japanese High School Baseball Federation says the cancellation was the first since World War II.Asahi newspaper president Masataka Watanabe says “the decision is needed to protect the health of the players, officials and fans.” Soccer players in Africa and the Americas are receiving food packages from their union while the sport is shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.Players in Botswana, Egypt, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay were identified as getting food aid by world players’ union FIFPro.FIFPro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann says some players “are being stranded in terms of income.”FIFPro represents players in 65 countries. The union says most players have contracts paying them salaries comparable to national averages.Baer-Hoffmann says the vast majority of soccer players are “under the same financial pressures as the rest of society.” May 20, 2020 ___French rugby club Toulon plans to resume training next month in small groups of three players amid the coronavirus pandemic.The three-time European champions say their players and coaching staff will have blood and heart tests next week at their training center.The groups of three will jog, do bodybuilding and work on their fitness levels in specially marked zones to avoid contact with others.France came out of lockdown on May 11. Toulon hopes players can train in groups of 8-12 in July and return to full training in August. ___The presidents of the University of Miami and Notre Dame say in separate interviews that they expect the football season to be played, though both raised the very real possibility of crowds being much smaller than usual or eliminated entirely.Appearing on CNN, Miami’s Dr. Julio Frenk says he hopes the Hurricanes can play this fall and that safety would be the top priority.“They will probably play in empty stadiums, like so many other sports,” Frenk said. “But we hope to have a season and we hope to have a winning season.”Speaking on MSNBC, Notre Dame’s the Rev. John Jenkins says he expects to have clarity on how — or if — football season can happen in the next few weeks. Associated Press “The team itself, I feel we can manage that one,” Jenkins said. “Then the question is people in the stands. We have an 85,000-person stadium. Can we get 85,000 people in there? That will be a big challenge to do that. But could we get a smaller number — 10,000, 15,000, 20,000? I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that question. That’s something we’ll have to think through.”___The head of the organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup says a global recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic could affect the ability of fans to afford to travel to Qatar.The World Bank is forecasting a deep recession caused by the shutdown of economic activity around the world.Organizing committee secretary general Hassan Al Thawadi says he is hopeful the tournament will be an opportunity for the world to come together again in November 2022. But he says there are “concerns about the global economy and the ability of fans to be able to afford traveling and afford coming and participating and celebrating the World Cup.” Two members of Watford’s staff also tested positive for COVID-19. Burnley said assistant manager Ian Woan has also contracted the virus.Tests on 748 people were conducted from 19 of the 20 Premier League clubs on Sunday and Monday. The 20th club started testing on Tuesday.___The Portuguese soccer federation says six of the 15 stadiums seeking to host matches when the league resumes next month amid the coronavirus pandemic have failed health inspections.All stadiums must comply with a series health measures established by local authorities to be able to host matches. The schools were scheduled to highlight the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase doubleheader at the O2 Arena. The series also included Marist against UMBC. Michigan will now host the Wildcats on Dec. 4 in Ann Arbor before the schools meet in London one year later. Kentucky will host the Wolverines in Lexington on Dec. 2, 2023.Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame President & CEO John L. Doleva says in a statement that the “unknown combination” of health, safety, international travel regulations and the economic viabilities for all parties required postponing the event.Kentucky coach John Calipari says he is disappointed to not go to London and looked forward to meeting Queen Elizabeth II.“But I’m glad we were all able to come together, figure this out and preserve this series for the future,” Calipari says.Michigan coach Juwan Howard says: “The Hall of Fame took the time to review what is happening around the world and explore all options — all the safe options for the teams and most importantly the fans. The best thing is this tremendous event isn’t canceled, it’s just delayed.” The club says it met with players and decided to change their furlough conditions now that group sessions have begun and their workload increased.Most soccer clubs in Spain used government furloughs to reduce their labor costs during the coronavirus pandemic.Players from second-division club Elche also refused to practice at the team’s training center last week and the club also eventually complied with their demands.The Spanish soccer season is expected to resume on the second weekend of June.___ The high school tournament has showcased some of the biggest stars in Japanese professional baseball. They include major leaguers like Ichiro Suzuki, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Matsui.The summer tournament was scheduled to start in August at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya. A smaller spring tournament was canceled earlier.___Rayo Vallecano players have returned to training after the Spanish soccer club accepted some of their salary demands.The players from the second-division club had not practiced this week as a protest for not being taken off furlough. They had only trained individually at home. The federation says the stadiums for league leader Porto and second-place Benfica were among the nine stadiums that passed the inspections conducted by local health authorities.The stadiums that failed belong to smaller clubs. They will be allowed to make changes to their venues before another inspection is conducted.The Portuguese league was set to resume at the end of May but its start was delayed until June 4 so there was time to rigorously inspect stadiums and conduct medical tests on all professionals involved in the matches.The league was stopped with Porto leading Benfica by one point with 10 rounds to go.___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Kentucky-Michigan college basketball matchup scheduled for Dec. 6 in London has been postponed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic. And the three-game series has been restructured. Al Thawadi says organizers want a “a price range that is affordable for fans and a price range that is workable, functionable for the industry, for service providers, for the supply chain that is responsible for delivering the World Cup.”___Watford defender Adrian Mariappa says he is one of the six people to test positive from the first round of coronavirus checks in the Premier League and is surprised that he contracted the disease.Mariappa says on the websites of British newspapers The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail he has been “scratching my head to try to work out how I might have got coronavirus” because he hasn’t “really left the house apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids.”The 33-year-old Mariappa says he hasn’t had any symptoms and has felt “as fit as ever.” He says he has spent lockdown dividing his time between homeschooling and following Watford’s fitness program. ___Tottenham is looking into whether defender Serge Aurier has broken social-distancing rules for the third time.Aurier posted a picture on Instagram on Tuesday appearing to show off a new haircut and sitting next to a stylist who was tagged in the post.The Premier League club says it is “investigating the circumstances and will deal with the incident appropriately.”The 27-year-old right back has been forced to apologize twice for breaking lockdown rules during the suspension of the Premier League because of the coronavirus pandemic. He posted a video of himself running with a friend and also training with Tottenham teammate Moussa Sissoko.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img July 12, 2020 INDYCAR-ROAD AMERICAO’Ward earns pole for 2nd race of Road America doubleheaderELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Pato O’Ward has won the pole for the second half of a weekend IndyCar doubleheader at Road America.O’Ward, a Chevy driver for Arrow McLaren SP, had a time of 1 minute, 44.8971 seconds on a course that stretches slightly over 4 miles and includes 14 turns. It’s the first career pole for the 21-year-old from Mexico, who is seeking his first IndyCar victory.With O’Ward on the pole and the 20-year-old Colton Herta qualifying second, Sunday’s race will have the youngest front row in IndyCar history. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSMLS postpones Toronto-DC United match amid virus concernsUNDATED (AP) — Major League Soccer postponed a match between Toronto FC and D.C. United shortly before it was scheduled to begin Sunday morning because of one unconfirmed positive test and one inconclusive test for the coronavirus. The unconfirmed positive test was for a D.C. United player, while a Toronto player returned the inconclusive test. Scott Dixon qualified sixth as he chases his fourth straight victory and 50th of his career. Dixon has been the only driver to win an IndyCar race this season. Three races into the season, Dixon already owns a commanding 62-point lead in the points standings. Second-place Simon Pagenaud (see-MOHN’ PA’-zheh-noh) is closer to 20th place than first.Dixon, of Chip Ganassi Racing, is the first driver to win three straight IndyCar events since Pagenaud did it in 2006.This weekend’s doubleheader marks the first time spectators have been allowed during this pandemic-delayed season. F1-STYRIAN GPHamilton wins Styrian GP ahead of Mercedes teammate Bottas Players and staff are tested the day before each game during the MLS is Back tournament. Both teams had already announced their starting lineups for the match when it was called off shortly before its scheduled 9 a.m. EDT kickoff. The league did not announce when the match would be rescheduled.The postponement is the latest hiccup for the tournament in Florida, which has already had two teams drop out because of a spate of COVID-19 cases. FC Dallas and Nashville were both withdrawn earlier this week, reducing the tournament to 24 teams. FC Dallas had 10 players and one coach test positive for the virus. Nashville had nine players test positive.In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— An exhibition soccer match in France Sunday night will be the first encounter in front of fans to feature one of Europe’s elite clubs since the coronavirus outbreak erupted. Only 5,000 people will be allowed inside the 25,000-seat stadium to watch French League 2 team Le Havre host the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain squad. Spectators will have to wear face masks to get into the arena and they’ll be kept apart in the stands and at the entrances. Among Europe’s top five leagues, only France is letting spectators back into soccer stadiums. France stopped its league because of the pandemic and never resumed it. The return of fans comes as France’s death toll this week surpassed 30,000 and amid growing concerns of a possible second wave of infections.center_img Associated Press SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Lewis Hamilton won the Styrian Grand Prix from the pole position on Sunday to clinch an 85th career win and move within six of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record.Hamilton’s record-extending 89th career pole on a rain-drenched track was one of his best in extreme conditions, but during the race he was hardly challenged as he finished a sizeable 13.7 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and 33.7 ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.Like last Sunday, drivers again wore black T-shirts with “End Racism” and most took the knee a few moments before the national anthem. When Hamilton stood on the podium he raised a clenched right fist. Update on the latest sportslast_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWSAP Source: Marlins get 2nd straight day of no positive testsUNDATED (AP) — For the second day in a row, the Miami Marlins had no positive tests among their players and staff still in Philadelphia, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because details of the testing have not been publicly released. The players posted a statement Sunday on The Players’ Tribune website and social media with the hashtag #WeAreUnited and sent out a press release. The release listed the names of 12 Pac-12 players from nine schools, including Oregon star safety Jevon Holland, and provided a statement from each one.It says hundreds of players throughout the Pac-12 are concerned about the risks of COVID-19 and that the conference and NCAA lack transparency, uniformity and adequate enforcement infrastructure.The Pac-12 on Friday released a revised football schedule for the upcoming season, which because of the pandemic is not guaranteed to be played. The new schedule pushes the start of the season back three weeks to Sept. 26 and includes only 10 conference games. The Pac-12 also announced that 20 hours per week of mandatory team activities for football, including weight training, meetings and unpadded walk-through practices, would be permitted to begin Monday. Preseason practice for Pac-12 schools can begin Aug. 17.Officials across college football anticipate disruptions this season related to COVID-19. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference also announced plans last week to play truncated football seasons with delayed starts.F1-BRITISH GP — Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was placed on the injured list before the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Tigers in Detroit. The team gave no reason for the move but specified that Votto, a six-time All-Star, is not on the 10-day injured list. The 36-year-old Votto is batting .259 with two home runs and five RBIs in seven games this season. The move made room to activate right-handed pitcher Anthony Desclafani from the 10-day injured list. The new seven-inning doubleheader rule was announced Friday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.— Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is set to make his season debut Sunday night when he faces the Diamondbacks at Arizona. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner was scratched shortly before he was scheduled to start July 23 on opening day because of back issues that have slowed him in recent years. The 32-year-old Kershaw was 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA last season.— The Colorado Rockies may be without reliever Scott Oberg for the rest of the season after he developed blood clots in his right arm for a third time in his career. Manager Bud Black said Oberg felt some discomfort in his throwing hand during a throwing session yesterday. He was evaluated by vascular doctors, who discovered the clots. Oberg was already on the 10-day injured list with a strained back.— Cleveland manager Terry Francona left the team before the game at Minnesota on Sunday, due to what the Indians said was a minor gastrointestinal condition not related to COVID-19. Francona conducted his regular pregame media briefing via video conference from Target Field. The club announced his absence about an hour later. The 61-year-old Francona returned to the team hotel, and first base coach Sandy Alomar took over managing duty for the four-game series finale against the Twins.NBA-HEAT-BUTLER Update on the latest sports Gotsis spent the last four years in Denver, where he notched 109 tackles, 13 passes defensed, five sacks and two forced fumbles. He was a second-round draft pick in 2016. He played in nine games in 2019, finishing with 16 tackles. He missed the final three games because of a knee injury.Also Sunday, the Jaguars activated rookie defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, tight end Charles Jones and starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor from the COVID-19 list.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-PAC-12 OPT-OUTPac-12 football players urge opt-out amid COVID-19 concernsUNDATED (AP) — A group of Pac-12 football players say they will not practice or play until their concerns about playing during the COVID-19 pandemic and other racial and economic issues in college sports are addressed. Hamilton wins British GP to close in on Schumacher’s recordSILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Lewis Hamilton held on to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday despite a puncture on the last lap to clinch an 87th career win and move within four of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record.The championship leader’s record-extending seventh Silverstone win saw him finish six seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who unexpectedly moved up a place after Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas sustained a puncture with three laps left. With Hamilton so far ahead, Verstappen went in for a tire change in a bid to gain an extra point for the fastest lap but that pit stop ultimately cost him victory because Hamilton’s front left shredded with half a lap to go. Verstappen swallowed up most of the 25-second gap but ran out of time. Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel, a four-time F1 champion, placed 10th and has now failed to get into the top five for his worst start to a season since 2008. Butler misses Heat practice, teammate hints he’s isolatingLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Jimmy Butler was not with the Miami Heat for practice Sunday, and one of his teammates suggested that he was quarantining away from the team.The Heat said only that Butler, who scored 22 points in Miami’s restart-opening win over Denver on Saturday, had “an excused absence.” But Heat teammate Jae Crowder indicated that it wasn’t just a day off for Butler, saying “We want to talk to him as soon as he gets out of quarantine or whatever he’s in.”Crowder’s reference to “quarantine” suggests that there is a concern about the coronavirus. Everyone inside the NBA’s so-called bubble, players included, is tested daily for the coronavirus. Those tests results are often back within 24 hours, sometimes much less.Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he didn’t know whether Butler would be available to play Monday when Miami faces the Toronto Raptors. The Heat play the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. Also Sunday, the NBA sent a memo to team executives, coaches and health officers reiterating the importance of wearing face masks and coverings on the Disney campus, as well as adhering to social-distancing guidelines. The memo also stressed that eating or drinking while walking on campus is now prohibited. A copy of the memo was obtained by The Associated Press.NFL-NEWSJaguars sign Adam Gotsis after 2 linemen opt outUNDATED (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed fifth-year defensive end Adam Gotsis days after two linemen opted out of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.Veterans Al Woods and Lerentee McCray decided not to play in 2020, creating a need for depth along Jacksonville’s defensive front. The Philadelphia Phillies have received results of Saturday’s COVID-19 testing, and there were no new positives. The team was set to work out at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday in preparation for the resumption of games Monday.The Marlins haven’t played since July 26 in Philadelphia because of an outbreak within their traveling party. Infected Marlins players and staff left Philadelphia in sleeper buses Friday for Miami to quarantine there. The rest of the team remained in isolation at a hotel in Philadelphia.In other MLB news:— Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant is out of the lineup for a second straight game on Sunday, a day after reporting a stomach ailment. Bryant was tested for the coronavirus on Friday and Saturday, and the Cubs said both tests were negative. He is scheduled to be tested again on Monday. Manager David Ross said before Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh that “We’re going to take the right precautions to keep everyone safe.” The 28-year-old Bryant is off to a tough start, batting .120 (3 for 25) in his first six games.— The New York Mets say slugger Yoenis Céspedes (yoh-EHN’-ehs SEHS’-peh-dehs) wasn’t with the team for Sunday’s game at Atlanta and the club says it hasn’t been able to locate him. Mets general Brodie Van Wagenen says Céspedes didn’t report to the ballpark and didn’t reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Céspedes went 0 for 4 during a 7-1 loss Saturday night. He is 5 for 31 with 15 strikeouts this season. A two-time All-Star, the 34-year-old Céspedes returned to the lineup this season for the first time since July 20, 2018. He missed most of the past two years with a series of heel and ankle problems. August 2, 2020 Associated Press last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img— Canadiens coach Claude Julien says he is feeling “100%” after a heart procedure. Julien had a stent installed in a coronary artery Aug. 13 at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto after complaining of chest pains. The procedure came a day after Montreal opened its first-round playoff series with Philadelphia.— Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko will undergo surgery on his left shoulder once again and won’t be evaluated for another five months. It will be Tarasenko’s third operation on that shoulder in the past two and a half years. RACIAL INJUSTICE-MLBThree MLB games postponed UNDATED (AP) — A trio of Major League Baseball games were postponed Wednesday as players across the sports landscape reacted in the wake of the weekend shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-RACIAL INJUSTICENBA playoff games called off amid player protestLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Three NBA games were expected to be played tonight. The players thought otherwise. Associated Press Alexander had left Bengals training camp earlier Tuesday to assist the search for his 65-year-old father, Jean Alexandre, a Haitian immigrant who uses a French spelling of the family’s surname. The man he allegedly assaulted had been picking berries with his father. In other NFL news:— Bears running back David Montgomery limped off the field at practice Wednesday after injuring his groin when making a cut on a running play. Montgomery went down in a non-contact drill. Coach Matt Nagy (NAYG’-ee) said it was uncertain how severe the injury is.— The Giants secondary has taken a big hit with second-round draft pick Xavier McKinney scheduled for surgery after breaking his left foot. The club also said linebacker David Mayo will need knee surgery. The team didn’t say when the injuries happened but the players were at practice Tuesday.PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS August 26, 2020 Cole had won 20 straight regular-season decisions dating to May 2019, one off the American League record set by Roger Clemens. Ronald Acuña (ah-KOON’-yah) Jr. celebrated his return to the lineup by leading off with a 473-foot drive against Cole.Dansby Swanson and Marcell Ozuna (oh-ZOO’-nuh) also homered off Cole, who had won his first four starts as a Yankee. The Braves completed a sweep of the doubleheader as Freddie Freeman unloaded a two-run homer off Chad Green in the sixth inning of a 2-1 victory. Max Fried (freed) allowed four hits and one run in six strong innings to move to 5-0.Yanks starter Masahiro Tanaka was dominant, allowing only three hits in five scoreless innings as he left the second game with a 1-0 lead.In other major league action: TORONTO (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers have evened their Stanley Cup second-round series at a game apiece.The Flyers blew an early 3-0 lead before Phil Myers scored 2:40 into overtime to give Philadelphia a 4-3 win over the Islanders. Third-period goals by Anthony Beauvillier (boh-VIH’-lee-ay) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (PA’-zhoh) allowed the Isles to force overtime before Myers ended the game.Kevin Hayes provided the game’s first two goals after scoring just once in the Flyers’ first 10 playoff games. Sean Couturier (koo-TOOR’-ee-ay) scored 15:09 into the first period to make it 3-0 and chase Semyon Varlamov (SEHM’-yahn vahr-LAH’-mahv), who had just set an Islanders record for longest playoff shutout streak.Carter Hart made 31 saves for the Flyers. Thomas Greiss (grys) stopped 20 shots and was perfect until Myers scored.NHL-NEWS Update on the latest sports Pacers fire McMillan following 2nd straight 1st-round sweepINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers have fired coach Nate McMillan, two weeks after announcing he would keep the job for two more years. Team officials made the announcement less than 48 hours after the Pacers suffered their second straight sweep in the first round of the playoffs.McMillan went 183-136 in four seasons with the Pacers, going to the playoffs each season. NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFSFlyers top Isles in OTcenter_img The games have been postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.The dramatic series of moves began when the Milwaukee Bucks declined to take the court against Orlando in the early game. The state of Wisconsin has been rocked in recent days by the shooting by police officers of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Rockets and Thunder were slated to play tonight, as were the Lakers against the Trail Blazers. The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled, yet did not say when.The WNBA followed suit by postponing its Wednesday schedule.NBA-PACERS-MCMILLAN FIRED Mickelson gets wire-to-wire win in PGA Tour Champions debutRIDGEDALE, Mo. (AP) — Phil Mickelson closed with a 5-under 66 to reach 22 under, leaving him three shots clear of Tim Petrovic and giving him a wire-to-wire win in his debut on the PGA Tour Champions.Mickelson became the 20th player to win on the 50-and-over tour in his first start. He also earned some much-needed confidence after a missed cut at The Northern Trust knocked him from the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Mickelson is trying to fine-tune his game for the U.S. Open.TENNIS-US OPEN-NISHIKORINishikori withdraws from US Open NHL strips Coyotes of 2 picks for violating combine policyUNDATED (AP) — The NHL has stripped the Arizona Coyotes of their 2020 second-round pick and 2021 first-round pick for violating the scouting combine policy by conducting physical tests of draft-eligible players.Commissioner Gary Bettman determined the organization broke the rules by physically testing prospects outside of the combine. Bettman decided to use his powers to take away draft picks rather than impose a fine of $250,000 or more “given the specific circumstances of this case.”The league opted not to discipline any individual members of the organization involved in the situation because Bettman believes it was gross negligence rather than intentional wrongdoing.In other NHL news: — Aaron Nola bounced back from the shortest outing of his career and the Phillies took advantage of the Nationals’ sloppy outfield defense to rally for a 3-2 victory. Bryce Harper delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh to help Philadelphia win its third in a row. Nola gave up two runs on five hits while striking out eight over seven innings. NFL-NEWSBengals player arrested while searching for missing fatherFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mackensie Alexander was jailed Wednesday on a charge of misdemeanor battery. Deputies say he beat up a man shortly after returning to Florida to help search for his missing father. Alexander and another man were arrested by Collier County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday night. Bail for the men was set at $2,000 each and they have been released. A lawyer for Alexander says the player’s only concern is the well-being of his father. Games between the Reds and Brewers in Milwaukee, the Mariners and Padres in San Diego and Dodgers and Giants in San Francisco were called off hours before they were set to begin.MLB SCHEDULEAnderson outduels Cole in big league debutUNDATED (AP) — Ian Anderson had quite a major league debut on Wednesday, helping the Atlanta Braves put an end to Gerrit Cole’s lengthy winning streak.Anderson allowed just one hit over six innings of the Braves’ 5-1 win over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of a twinbill. Anderson had a no-hitter going until Luke Voit homered with one out in the sixth. The third overall pick in the 2016 draft struck out six and walked two. — Michael Perez hit a tiebreaking, solo homer in the eighth inning to give the Rays a 5-4 decision over the Orioles. Brandon Lowe (low) belted a two-run shot to help Tampa Bay win despite just five hits. The AL East leaders have won nine of 11.— The Indians put together a three-run eighth to knock off the Twins, 6-3. Tyler Naquin (NAY’-kwihn) doubled home the tiebreaking run and scored on a single by Cesar Hernandez. Pitcher Mike Clevinger was good in his return to the Cleveland roster, limiting the AL Central leaders to two runs and eight hits while fanning six over six innings.— Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY’-oo) homered for the seventh time in five games to support Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul) in the White Sox’s 10th win in 11 games, 10-3 over Pittsburgh. Keuchel allowed two runs on four hits and struck out seven over six innings for his third straight victory. Eloy (ee-LOY’) Jiménez slugged a three-run homer, Danny Mendick lined a two-run drive and Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN’) added a solo shot for Chicago.— The Blue Jays blew out the Red Sox, 9-1 as Rowdy Tellez (teh-LEHZ’) drove in four runs with two homers and a double. Vladimir Guererro Jr. hit a pair of doubles, including a three-run bouncer down the left field line which keyed a four-run seventh. Five Toronto pitchers combined to allow three hits, strike out seven and walk three.— The Mets’ bullpen coughed up a 4-1 lead in the eighth before Wilson Ramos slapped an RBI single with two out in the bottom half to give New York a 5-4 victory against the Marlins. Jacob deGrom settled for another no-decision despite strikeout out 14 and holding Miami to a run and two hits over seven innings. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo (NIH’-moh) homered for the Mets. NEW YORK (AP) — Former U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori (kay nih-shih-KOHR’-ee) said he tested negative for COVID-19 after having two positive tests but still decided to withdraw from the Grand Slam tournament that begins next week. Nishikori wrote Wednesday on his mobile app that he is ready to “slowly” return to practice but added he isn’t not prepared to compete in best-of-five-set matches.last_img read more

Warnock ‘disappointed’ with QPR’s start

first_imgQPR manager Neil Warnock says he is disappointed with his side’s results during the first half of the season.Ranges are without a win in six matches and are only two places above the relegation zone ahead of a daunting New Year’s Eve clash at Arsenal.Warnock hoped for a better return in the opening months of the club’s first campaign back in the top flight and feels they ought to be comfortably nestled in mid-table.AdChoices广告“I’m disappointed we haven’t got another eight, nine or 10 points if I’m honest,” he admitted.“We’ve been in winning positions and not been able to close games, and there was the West Brom game where we had a perfectly good second goal disallowed.“You look back and think we should have more points. Even the Manchester City game I was disappointed we didn’t get at least one point from.”Warnock has been particularly unhappy with Rangers’ poor defending and his top priority is to sign a quality centre-back during the January transfer window.“We’ve got to make sure we’re strong enough in the second half of the season,” he said.“We need to improve defence-wise. I’ve got to make sure we improve the squad in that area and that’s what my main concern will be.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Fulham man making steady progress

first_imgSteve Sidwell is on course to return to action in two weeks’ time.The Fulham midfielder has been sidelined with an abdominal injury and has not played since last month’s draw with West Brom.Meanwhile, the Whites have been boosted by Bryan Ruiz’s recovery from illness ahead of this weekend’s game against Aston Villa.AdChoices广告Ruiz was laid low by a virus but has returned to training and will be in the squad for the trip to the Midlands.But Aaron Hughes faces a fitness test on a calf problem and Stephen Kelly is out with a thigh injury.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Kumar and Sanichara win E-Networks Easter Badminton tournament

first_imgCHRISTINA Kumar and Easa Sanichara were crowned winners in the E-Networks B-Division Easter Badminton Tournament, which was played on Friday at the National Gymnasium.In the female competition, Kumar got past Stephanie Sajar 21-12, 21-7 in the quarterfinals, before defeating Emelia Ramdhani in the semi-finals.The battle against the mother of national champions, Priyanna and Narayan Ramdhani, was intense and it took Kumar three sets to advance. She battled back from a 19-21 loss to win 21-9 and 21-14.In the final, Kumar eased past Anna Perreira 21-8 and 21-2. The second place finisher had battled past Ayanna Watson 21-12, 19-21 and 21-15.Ramdhani and Perreira settled for joint third.In the Ladies Singles Consolation final, Kaylie Anthon got the better of Khaya Boswick 21-11, 21-17.In the men’s singles, Sanichara defeated Elion Beaton 21-4, 21-12 in the quarterfinals, before he got past Isaac Mallampati 21-14 and 21-12 in the final four and Hemraj Beharry 21-16 and 22-20 in the grand finale.Beharry had defeated Jamal Shamsudeen 21-11 and 21-16 in the semifinals.Meanwhile, in the men’s consolation final, Matthew Beharry got past Shimron Lewis 21-16, 21-17.last_img read more

Bravo says Caribbean side focussed ahead of World Cup

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Marquee batsman Darren Bravo said yesterday West Indies would not be overawed by their opposition at the upcoming ICC World Cup in England, but would be focussing on executing their unique brand of cricket.The two-time World Cup champions are not among the favourites for the May 30 to July 14 tournament largely due to their lowly number nine ranking, with hosts and world number England the hot favourites.“To be honest, most other teams are quality teams but having said that, when we played against England no one gave us a chance, so I think that once we concentrate on what we have to do as a team, I think that is the most important thing,” the left-hander said during the Windies training camp at 3W’s Oval.“We are not going to focus very much on the opposition. We have certain plans and certain roles we want to execute and I believe that the result will take care of itself. As I said before, no one gave us a chance against England and we went out there and proved that we can beat the best team in the world so we just have to go out there and continue believing in ourselves as much as possible.”Bravo was referring to the recent five-match series home series against England which the hosts drew 2-2, with one match rained off.Written off before the start, West Indies played outstandingly after losing the opening match by 26 runs at Kensington Oval, rebounding to win the second match of the doubleheader by 26 runs.Rain forced the abandonment of the third ODI in Grenada before England clinched the fourth contest at the same venue, despite West Indies’ record 389 in pursuit of 419.West Indies crushed England by seven wickets in the final match in St Lucia, with Chris Gayle slamming an astonishing 77 off 27 balls to end the series with 424 runs.“I think it was a fantastic series for us as a team, led brilliantly by Jason and Chris Gayle,” Bravo said.“I think Chris set the tone at the top of the order in the ODIs that gave the motivation to go out there and perform against the best team in the world. It was a very good series and I am happy that it was very competitive and it should give us confidence moving forward.”Bravo is part of the Windies 14-man squad preparing for the tour of Ireland which runs from May 3 to 17 in Dublin. They will clash with the hosts and Bangladesh in the triangular series.The camp is being overseen by new interim head coach Floyd Reifer, who was appointed last week, and the experienced Bravo said he was making the most of the preparation, especially with former Test batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan playing a key role with the batting group.“The coach outlines what he wants from us and we try to come up with the brand of cricket we want to play,” said the 30-year-old Bravo, who averages 32 from 102 One-Day Internationals.“Moving forward the guys have been working on their technical areas as much as possible. Now we have Sarwan who came in for a couple of days to help us with our batting. He has been working tremendously well with us. I had a couple sessions, so far so good.“Hopefully he will be with us moving forward to Ireland because I believe with a young batting team like this, someone of Sarwan ‘s stature will mean a lot to us as a batting unit. We will see how it goes but so far the camp has been going well.“It has been a lot of hard work, fitness-wise and otherwise and we are enjoying it.” read more