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ECB announce 2013 Ashes dates and venues

England to start 2013 Ashes defence at Trent Bridge with Old Trafford another returning venue

PUBLISHED:

11:03 GMT, 1 June 2012

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UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 25 April 2013

The England and Wales Cricket Board have released the itinerary for next year's international fixtures, with Trent Bridge playing host to the first Ashes Test.

It is another packed schedule for England, with series against New Zealand in all three formats between May 16 and June 27 before the world's top-eight teams contest the Champions Trophy.

The Oval, Cardiff and Edgbaston are the home grounds for that tournament but, as ever, the focus will be on the arrival of Australia.

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Ashes heroes: England will begin the defence of the Ashes at Trent Bridge

Ashes heroes: England will begin the defence of the Ashes at Trent Bridge

They will play two four-day warm-ups, against Somerset and Worcestershire, before the opening Test in Nottingham on July 10.

The second Test, at Lord's, follows immediately on July 18 before Australia face Sussex in another tour match at Hove.

The next two Tests are also back to back, with Old Trafford the venue for the third match, as it was in the memorable 2005 series, and Durham's first taste of Ashes cricket coming in the penultimate match of the series, starting on August 9.

The tourists then have a two-day fixture at Northampton before the sides meet again at The Oval, where England have clinched the urn for the last two home series.

Having announced his shock retirement from limited-overs cricket, Kevin Pietersen's international commitments will end on August 25, while his colleagues contest two Twenty20s and five one-day matches against the old enemy as well a stand alone trip to Malahide to face Ireland.

Happy memories: The England team celebrate winning the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005

Happy memories: The England team celebrate winning the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005

The final match on the calendar, a 50-over clash with Australia, takes place at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl on September 16 – four days later than its 2012 equivalent.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: 'The prospect of England defending the Ashes on home soil, the world's top eight teams competing in the ICC Champions Trophy, and a full programme of 50-Over and T20 International cricket will provide rich pickings for cricket fans next summer.

'Last season's international programme attracted a record aggregate attendance of more than 850,000 spectators and we would urge all fans to purchase their international tickets early for 2013 to avoid missing out on what promises to be a memorable summer.'

Collier also referred to the decision to hand Lord's the first Test of the summer against New Zealand, having initially awarded the fixture to Cardiff.

Australia announce Ashes squad

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Ticket sales for last summer's Test against Sri Lanka were disappointing and a compromise deal was reached which saw Glamorgan trade their Test for the Champions Trophy fixtures.

'Wales has earned an outstanding reputation for its ability to deliver world-class sporting events and we are delighted that Cardiff will be used as a host venue for the ICC Champions Trophy and stage a semi-final,' said Collier.

'Cardiff was originally scheduled to stage next summer's first Investec Test match against New Zealand and following further discussions between ECB, Glamorgan CCC, and MCC, this match will now be played at Lord's. We are grateful to both parties for their co-operation in this matter.'

2013 SUMMER DATES FOR NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA

New Zealand tour itinerary

May 4-6 v Derbyshire

May 9-12 v England Lions (Leicester)

May 16-20 v England (First Test, Lord's)

May 24-28 v England (Second Test, Headingley)

May 31 v England (First One-Day International, Lord's)

June 2 v England (Second ODI, Ageas Bowl)

June 5 v England (Third ODI, Trent Bridge)

June 22 v Kent (T20 warm-up, Canterbury)

June 25 v England (First T20 international, Oval)

June 27 v England (Second T20 international, Oval)

NB. T20 tour match at Canterbury on 22 June cancelled if NZ in Final of ICC Champions Trophy.

Champions Trophy

June 6-17 ICC Champions Trophy Group Stages

June 19-20 ICC Champions Trophy Semi-Finals

June 23 ICC Champions Trophy Final (Edgbaston)

Australia tour itinerary

June 26-29 v Somerset

July 2-5 v Worcestershire

July 10-14 v England (First Test, Trent Bridge)

July 18-22 v England (Second Test, Lord's)

July 26-28 v Sussex

Aug 1-5 v England (Third Test, Old Trafford)

AuG 9-13 v England (Fourth Test, Emirates Durham ICG)

Aug 16-17 v Northamptonshire

Aug 21-25 v England (Fifth Test, Oval)

Aug 29 v England (First T20, Ageas Bowl)

Aug 31 v England (Second T20, Emirates Durham ICG)

Sept 3 v Scotland (Edinburgh)

Sept 6 v England (First ODI, Headingley)

Sept 8 v England (Second ODI, Old Trafford)

Sept 11 v England (Third ODI, Edgbaston)

Sept 14 v England (Fourth ODI, SWALEC Stadium)

Sept 16 v England (Fifth ODI, Ageas Bowl)

Sept 3 Ireland v England (ODI, Dublin)

Michael Norgrove death: Boxer becomes first to die from injuries sustained in a British ring in 18 years

Norgrove tragedy a sad reminder after fighter becomes first to die from injuries sustained in a British ring in 18 years

By
Jeff Powell

PUBLISHED:

00:02 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

09:10 GMT, 8 April 2013

The tragic death of Michael Norgrove comes as a reminder not only of the dangers of boxing but of the strides taken towards making the hard old game as safe as humanly possible.

Norgrove has become the first boxer for 18 years to die from injuries sustained in a fight in a British ring.

That remarkable statistic will do nothing to ease the grief of Norgrove’s family and friends but it will defend the sport he loved against the inevitable howls of the abolitionists.

Tragedy: Michael Norgrove (left) collapsed after his fight with Tom Bowen was stopped

Tragedy: Michael Norgrove (left) collapsed after his fight with Tom Bowen was stopped

Tragedy: Michael Norgrove (left) collapsed after his fight with Tom Bowen was stopped

While the British Boxing Board of Control’s strict medical procedures ensure that fighters here are among the best protected in the world, many other sports have higher fatality rates.

While mountaineering is the most hazardous sporting activity,a runner has died in successive London marathons and numerous boys are killed every year when struck by baseballs in the US junior leagues.

Norgrove is only the third British-based boxer to die as a direct result of a fight since 1986.

At 31, the Zambian-born Norgrove became a late starter in the ring after his family moved to north London. The fight after which he lost his life was only his sixth as a professional. He passed away on Saturday night, nine days after suffering bleeding in the brain during a light-welterweight bout in the historic Ring at Blackfriars.

Green and gold: Norgrove boxed for Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, east London

Green and gold: Norgrove boxed for Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, east London

He was winning that contest against Drew Docherty and did not appear to have taken any significantly hard punches. But as soon as Norgrove started behaving abnormally the referee stopped the fight and called the doctors.

'Paramedics went to work immediately and an ambulance on stand-by sped Norgrove to hospital, where trauma treatment by a neuro-surgeon is reported to have commenced well inside The Golden Hour, the first 60 minutes during which brain damage can be restricted to a minimum.

If such urgent practices had been in force years earlier, it is reasonable to speculate that Michael Watson would not be in need of a wheel-chair today and Gerald McClelland would not be in a permanent vegetative state back in the US following his dramatic battle with Nigel Benn.

Unusually, and sadly, Norgrove’s condition was too severe for him to be saved. But Board general secretary Robert Smith is right to point out that their exhaustive medical examinations and the safety precautions they demand at all promotions now reduce risk to the minimum.

James Murray, after a British bantamweight title fight in Glasgow in 1995, and Steve Watt, after a defence of his Scottish welterweight title in 1986, were British boxing’s two preceding fatalities.

Angus Porter, Professional Cricketers" Association chief, reveals Tom Maynard was not tested for drugs before death

PCA chief Porter reveals Maynard wasn't tested for drugs last season before death

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:57 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:57 GMT, 3 March 2013

Professional Cricketers' Association chief Angus Porter has revealed Tom Maynard was not drug tested last season before his death in June.

Maynard was killed in the early hours of June 18 after he was electrocuted and hit by a tube train near Wimbledon Park station.

Maynard had been trying to evade police after abandoning his car, and a Westminster Coroners' Court was told last week that he was four-times the legal alcohol limit to drive and that he had also taken cocaine and ecstasy on the night of the accident.

Tragic death: Tom Maynard was not tested for drugs last season

Tragic death: Tom Maynard was not tested for drugs last season

A post-mortem report also revealed the 23-year-old Surrey batsman, who was regarded as a potential England international, had used cocaine for at least three-and-a-half months.

In the wake of the findings the PCA have begun talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board to increase the levels of drug-testing – which would also include out-of-competition samples.

While Porter said Maynard's recreational drug use would have been detected under the current policy – which focuses on performance-enhancing drugs – he confirmed the batsman had not been tested last season.

'We have a drug-testing regime in cricket like those in all professional sports which is primarily focused on detecting performance-enhancing drugs for very obvious reasons,' Porter told BBC Radio Five Live.

Tribute: Maynard is remembered in the pavilion at The Oval

Tribute: Maynard is remembered in the pavilion at The Oval

He added: 'The pattern of drug use in Tom's case suggests he would have been picked up by our existing drugs programme.

'Although the use of recreational drugs outside of competition is not a breach of the anti-doping code, use in competition is a breach.

'So he would have tested for recreational drugs had he been tested in competition. Unfortunately given that is a random process he wasn't tested last year.'

Porter confirmed talks with the ECB to initiate out-of-competition testing were ongoing and that 'hair sampling' was likely to now be used to catch recreational drug users.

Shocking: A post-mortem report revealed that Maynard had been using cocaine for at least three months

Shocking: A post-mortem report revealed that Maynard had been using cocaine for at least three months

'We're in advanced discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board about implementing a testing programme for drugs out of competition and almost certainly using hair sampling,' he said.

'As the coroner identified that gives you a longer history and a more certain test.

'We need to be clear we are talking about testing, not to catch cheats, but testing to find people who have a drugs problem.

'Therefore, it will be linked with a confidential programme of help, support, advice and if necessary treatment to get them back on the right path.'

Porter also promised to 'redouble' efforts to educate players on the issues associated with drug taking.

At the inquest: Maynard's former Surrey team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown (below)

At the inquest: Maynard's former Surrey team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown (below)

Friend: Rory Hamilton-Brown goes into the inquest

'We work very hard to make sure that all players understand both the challenges they face as professionals and also understand the risks that go with those and the issues associated with being in the public eye,' he said.

'We'll be redoubling our efforts in that respect to make sure they are educated and have access to help when they need it.

'If we are going to turn this in to a positive in any way it's that the things we are wrestling with are ones that are challenges for society at large. If we can draw attention to those challenges then that will be a good thing.'

Phil Taylor versus Michael van Gerwen is a fitting end to a thrilling World Championship

Drama, excitement, bust ups, close matches, great performances and two nine-dart finishes: Taylor versus Van Gerwen is a fitting end to a thrilling World Championship

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 31 December 2012

Is there any better way to end a World Championship that has had everything

The 15-time world champion and King of the oche Phil Taylor takes on the red hot Dutch star Michael van Gerwen in one of the most eagerly awaited contests in the tournament’s 20-year history.

‘Mighty Mike’ has lit up Alexandra Palace over the festive period and he has all the attributes needed to topple ‘The Power’ and win his maiden world title.

Van Gerwen produced a champion’s performance to beat two-time winner Adrian Lewis 5-4 in a stunning quarter-final and then, almost unthinkably, played even better against James Wade in the semis. Had MVG pulled off two nine-dart finishes in a row, it surely would have ranked as the greatest moment in darts history.

Mighty Mike: Van Gerwen has produced outstanding form this year at Ally Pally

Mighty Mike: Van Gerwen has produced outstanding form this year at Ally Pally

It has been a year to remember for the Dutchman, after his win at the World Grand Prix and final at the Grand Slam, and a win over Taylor on Tuesday night could almost be a changing of the guard for the sport.

If he plays like he did against Lewis, Van Gerwen will almost certainly be the new world champion.

Taylor said: ‘Michael’s talent is the best I’ve ever seen, even better than me at my peak. I’ve been studying Michael’s game and he doesn’t even seem to look at his target. I’m going to do everything on the dart board I can to beat him.’

But the pressure of a World Championship final could get to the young pretender and, if it does, the last man you would want to face is Taylor.

The Power: Taylor is going for his 16th world title

The Power: Taylor is going for his 16th world title

‘The Power’ hasn’t been at his best at Ally Pally this year but still finds himself in the final. He has negotiated a tricky draw with relative ease, beating Robert Thornton, Andy Hamilton and Raymond van Barneveld.

The bookmakers were right in ranking these two as the favourites but Taylor knows he needs to up his game to stop ‘Mighty Mike’ winning his first world title.

An interesting sub-plot will be the reaction Phil Taylor gets from the crowd after his spat with Barney after the semis.

The 2013 World Championship has had drama, excitement, close matches, sizzling performances and two-nine dart finishes. Let’s hope the final will be the conclusion a brilliant tournament deserves.

Five memorable moments from Ally Pally this year

5. John Part angry that his picture isn't on the wall at Alexandra Palace

4. Van Gerwen knocks out reigning champion Adrian Lewis in a quarter-final classic

3. Dean Winstanley's nine-dart finish against Vincent van der Voort

2. Taylor clashes with Van Barneveld after semi-final

1. Van Gerwen's incredible 17 perfect darts in a row

Bangladesh cancel Pakistan tour due to security concerns

Bangladesh cancel Pakistan tour due to security concerns

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UPDATED:

12:20 GMT, 31 December 2012

Bangladesh have called off their upcoming tour of Pakistan because of security concerns.

No international cricket has been played in Pakistan since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore in 2009.

Six Sri Lankan players were wounded when
gunmen opened fire on their coach as they were being driven to the Gaddafi Stadium for a Test match.

The news will be a bitter pill to swallow for Pakistan having recently resolved another major dispute to resume bilateral ties with India after five years.

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

'Bangladesh will not visit Pakistan for now,' said Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan.

'We have noticed that the security situation in Pakistan has not improved significantly, (it has) rather deteriorated.

'In this circumstance, we think it will not be very wise to tour. We
have conveyed our decision to Pakistan already. We are observing the
situation. If the situation improves we will keep our commitment.

'We have made a commitment to travel to Pakistan but we believe that the security of players and officials are the most important thing.'

Pakistan have been playing 'home' series in the United Arab Emirates as well as hosting Australia in England in 2010 for two Tests and two Twenty20s.

They recently hosted two Twenty20s against a World XI featuring Sanath Jayasuriya and Andre Nel.

Sam Warbuton will stay loyal to Cardiff Blues

Warbuton will follow Cuthbert's lead and stay loyal to Cardiff

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 22 December 2012

Sam Warburton is set to emulate Alex Cuthbert by securing his future in Wales with Cardiff Blues.

The Wales captain has been reassured over the club’s ambitions after they tied down Cuthbert for the next three years and he says he is ready to commit to his home team ‘for life’ when his current deal ends after next season.

Warburton, 24, said: ‘I would love to stay at the Blues for life and have my testimonial here.

Set to sign: Sam Warburton will commit his future to the Cardiff Blues

Set to sign: Sam Warburton will commit his future to the Cardiff Blues

‘In France you can earn three or four times what you get in Wales, but I would also rather play somewhere I’m happy and getting looked after.

‘It will be interesting to see the detail in the new WRU plans and what incentives they come up with to keep players at the regions.’

One of the main aims of the newly formed Professional Regional Game Board in Wales is to help the four Welsh teams hold on to their top players.

Newport Gwent Dragons director of rugby Rob Beale says they could help the club keep Toby Faletau, who will also be out of contract after next season.

Beale said: ‘If that is a stated aim then they have got to be involved in how we set about keeping Toby.’

Nasser Hussain: We have to bring in DRS for all Test matches

Nasser Hussain: 'Enough is enough. We have to bring in DRS for all Test matches.'

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UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 16 December 2012

The time has now come for the ICC to stand up to the Indian cricket board and say: ‘Enough is enough. We are using the decision review system in all Test matches.’

This series has provided all the proof needed that the game is categorically better off using technology rather than relying totally on the men in the middle.

Controversy: England captain Alastair Cook was given out caught despite the ball traveling well wide of his bat

Controversy: England captain Alastair Cook was given out caught despite the ball traveling well wide of his bat

Surely the world game’s governing body can now go to India and say, ‘we have listened to your reservations and we respect them, but just look at what has happened in a marquee series when technology hasn’t been used. Big mistakes have been made on both sides and your players have misbehaved because of it’.

All the boards bar India now seem to want the system in place. Spectators want it and, judging by his reaction to a decision yesterday, India captain MS Dhoni wants it.

And sitting in the Indian dressing room is the man who invented DRS, their coach Duncan Fletcher. What more do they need

Nobody is saying the technology used is perfect. But the very professional people behind it are working towards making it as near perfect as it can be. And if it had been used in these four Tests, I reckon there might have been one or two errors made with important decisions. Instead, there have been 10 or 12.

I was asked by Sky to come up with the blatant umpiring errors in this series, and I quickly picked out 10 that really should have been spotted by the naked eye by elite umpires. I’m sure there have been other mistakes too.

10 UMPIRING HOWLERS THIS SERIES

Batsman / Bowler – What happened…

Test: Ahmedabad (1st Test)

Samit Patel / Ravi Ashwin – Should have been given out lbw on four

Mumbai (2nd)

Zaheer Khan / Graeme Swann – Given out caught at short leg — nowhere near it

Mumbai (2nd)

Pragyan Ojha / Monty Panesar – Obvious glove to leg slip — missed by Aleem Dar

Mumbai (2nd)

Gautam Gambhir / Graeme Swann – Out lbw after edging the ball into his pads

Kolkata (3rd)

Alastair Cook / Ravi Ashwin – Caught at short leg, not noticed by umpire

Kolkata (3rd)

Monty Panesar / Ravi Ashwin – lbw after nicking it

Nagpur (4th)

Alastair Cook / Ishant Sharma – lbw, despite being hit outside line of off

Nagpur (4th)

Cheteshwar Pujara / Graeme Swann – Given out at short leg off the forearm

Nagpur (4th)

Alastair Cook / Ravi Ashwin – Caught behind, but didn’t hit it

Nagpur (4th)

Jonathan Trott / Ravindra Jadeja – Hit in line with the stumps, survived the lbw shout

I am just not sure it is right when people say the elite panel get 90 per cent of their decisions right. It certainly hasn’t been that way in this series.

The four umpires used in these games seem to have become uncertain once they have had their safety net taken away from them. They have seen from technology that more decisions are out than was perceived in the past and, without it, they are not sure what to give and what to turn down.

The genie is out of the bottle. The modern generation can’t understand why technology isn’t being used. It’s time for India to see the error of their ways and accept the views of the vast majority. We have seen with our own eyes that it is the only way forward now.

Commanding: Despite his unfair dismissal, Alastair Cook's (pictured) England team remain on course for an historic series win

Commanding: Despite his unfair dismissal, Alastair Cook's (pictured) England team remain on course for an historic series win

We
are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a
dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and
international news organisations.

The
BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies
Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

PFA back FA proposal for five-match bans for racism

PFA to back FA proposal for five-match bans to be imposed for racist abuse

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 12 December 2012

The Professional Footballers’ Association will back the FA’s new proposal of a minimum five-match ban for racist abuse.

Chelsea skipper John Terry was given only a four-match ban for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand while Liverpool’s Luis Suarez received an eight-match suspension for his abuse of Patrice Evra.

The range of punishment in such cases have seen the FA heavily criticised, and a set punishment is one way to ensure everyone is subject to the same minimum disciplinary action.

Four-game ban: Terry (right) was charged by the FA in October

Four-game ban: Terry (right) was charged by the FA in October

The sanction is one of a number of proposals being discussed by the game’s ruling bodies, but has yet to be agreed.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: 'It has not gone through yet but we are not opposed to it. We want there to be some consistency and to illustrate the seriousness of our approach to this issue.'

The PFA also want all players and managers coming to England from overseas to have 'cultural lessons' to make them aware of rules on discrimination under proposals to tackle racism. Until now only apprentices have been given such courses.

Meanwhile, FA independent director Heather Rabbatts insists the game must to respond to damning criticism of the handling of the Terry and Suarez cases.

Eight-game ban: Suarez (centre) was dealt with more harshly than Terry

Eight-game ban: Suarez (centre) was dealt with more harshly than Terry

Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley has claimed there is 'very little morality' at the top clubs and a lack of leadership and 'a moral vacuum' in the game.

Rabbatts, appointed as an independent board member earlier this year and a potential candidate to be the next FA chairman, said Ouseley had raised important issues.

She said: 'The issues that Herman Ouseley is raising are hugely important issues for the whole game and it has to respond to these challenges.

'There are a number of members from different parts of the game being consulted and we all have to rise to the current challenge.

'Despite the huge progress that has been made in tackling discrimination there is a need for renewed energy.'

Portsmouth face 10 point deduction even if supporters trust save club

Pompey will still be docked 10 points if supporters group win fight to save club

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UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 10 December 2012

Portsmouth still face a 10-point deduction should the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) win their battle to save the club this week.

The Football League today confirmed the sanction, to be imposed once the club comes out of administration, after receiving details of the PST's proposed takeover.

PST's bid hinges on administrators PKF gaining permission to sell Fratton Park, which is controlled by the club's former owner Balram Chainrai, at a High Court hearing which starts on Thursday.

In danger: Portsmouth will be docked 10 points even if the supporters trust saves the club

In danger: Portsmouth will be docked 10 points even if the supporters trust saves the club

The League is awaiting the outcome of that hearing, and for the trust to raise the remaining funds as set out in their business plan, before fully considering their application.

A statement from the League read: 'The Football League Board has received details of a proposal by Pompey Supporters' Trust and its partner investors to acquire the assets and certain liabilities of Portsmouth Football Club.

'Having considered the proposal in detail, the Board concluded that it had significant merit.

'However, two outstanding points will have to be resolved before the Board can fully consider PST's application to become the new owner of Portsmouth Football Club.

'They are the outcome of the current High Court proceedings relating to the ownership of Fratton Park and PST raising the remaining funding from supporters that is anticipated in its business plan.

'The Board also confirmed that ongoing membership of the League would be subject to a number of conditions that seek to ensure the sporting integrity of league football and the financial viability of the club going forward.

'It therefore reaffirmed its earlier decision that these conditions would include a deduction of 10 points (applicable at the point of transfer of share) and a range of other restrictions on playing budgets and future borrowing for the next four seasons.'

Pompey, who have been in administration since February, are currently one place and one point outside the npower League One relegation zone.

Danish Kaneria spot-fixing appeal hearing adjourned

Spot-fixing appeal hearing for Kaneria's lifetime ban adjourned

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UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 10 December 2012

Adjourned: Danish Kaneria will discover the outcome of his case next year

Adjourned: Danish Kaneria will discover the outcome of his case next year

The hearing for Danish Kaneria's appeal against the lifetime ban handed down to him by an England and Wales Cricket Board Disciplinary Panel was today adjourned, with the case expected to resume in the new year.

The adjournment came following legal submissions from both sides in London and a new date for the hearing will be agreed in due course.

Kaneria was given the ban in June for his role in a spot-fixing plot.

The 31-year-old Pakistan leg-spinner was found guilty of 'cajoling and pressurising' former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield into accepting cash in return for trying to concede a set number of runs in an over during a Pro 40 match in 2009.

Kaneria denies all involvement in the plot and after the hearing in June he immediately indicated his intention to appeal.

Top Spin

The Pakistan Cricket Board said in
July that he would be suspended from playing in his home country until
the outcome of the appeal was known.

Witnesses are yet to be called in the appeal hearing.