Tag Archives: celebration

Peter Shilton drink-driving: England legend banned from road

England legend Peter Shilton banned from road after admitting drink-driving charge

By
Ben Kendall, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

11:58 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:15 GMT, 19 March 2013

Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton has been banned from the road after admitting drink-driving.

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge during a 15-minute hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning.

The court heard that he was found to have more than double the legal amount of alcohol in his system when he was breathalysed on February 24.

Ban: Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, pictured with his partner Stephanie Hayward, was banned from the road after admitting drink-driving at Colchester Magistrates Court

Ban: Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, pictured with his partner Stephanie Hayward, was banned from the road after admitting drink-driving at Colchester Magistrates Court

He was driving a 2010-registered Jaguar XF near the Essex home of his girlfriend, Stephanie Hayward, at the time and was caught after an anonymous tip-off to police.

As he left court, Shilton, who won a record 125 England caps, said: 'I’ve nothing to say, really – just that I had a very fair hearing.'

He left in a taxi from the nearby Colchester Town railway station.

Magistrate Ilona Perkins-Van Mil banned Shilton from driving for 20 months and ordered him to pay fines and costs totalling 1,020.

The court heard that Shilton had been drinking wine at a family celebration throughout the day but did not think he was over the limit.

Admission: Shilton attended a 15-minute hearing, where he pleaded guilty

Admission: Shilton attended a 15-minute hearing, where he pleaded guilty

Prosecutor Joseph Stickings said police were called to Ms Hayward’s home at about 8.35pm.

They had received an anonymous tip-off that a man, who seemed drunk, had been driving nearby.

'As police were speaking to a woman at the address, Mr Shilton pulled up behind the police car,' Stickings said.

'The officer spoke to him and could smell alcohol on his breath. He was tested and provided a positive breath test.'

Shilton wore a charcoal suit with a tie today and spoke only to confirm his name and address and enter a plea.

He arrived with singer Ms Hayward, who sat in court wearing a black dress with lace sleeves.

Legend Former Nottingham Forest, Stoke and Derby No 1 Shilton represented England a record 125 times

Legend Former Nottingham Forest, Stoke and Derby No 1 Shilton represented England a record 125 times

Paul Tawn, mitigating, said Shilton
would find it difficult to pay any fine because his finances were
'complicated' as he is currently going through a divorce and selling his
house.

He added: 'He’d had a very pleasant day at a family celebration and had consumed wine with meals throughout the day.

'He had gone to move his car closer to his partner’s address because he had an early start.

'He didn’t travel far, just a couple of streets, and wasn’t driving very quickly at all.

'He was aware he had consumed alcohol but it was throughout the day so he did not think he was over the limit – if he had, he would not have pulled up behind the police officer.'

Paying the penalty: Shilton just fails to save a spot-kick during the 1990 World Cup semi-final shootout

Paying the penalty: Shilton just fails to save a spot-kick during the 1990 World Cup semi-final shootout

Tawn described the arrest as a 'matter
of deep regret' for Shilton, who has three points on his licence
following a speeding offence in March 2011.

Perkins-Van Mil warned Shilton he could face custody if he breached the ban and ordered him to pay the fine in full before leaving the building.

As well as appearing 125 times for his country, Shilton played more than 1,000 competitive matches for 11 different clubs including Leicester, Stoke, Nottingham Forest, Derby and Southampton during his career.

Arsenal join Newcastle United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in race to sign Saint-Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal join race to sign 15m-rated 'African Neymar' Aubameyang after scouting mission

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:38 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:38 GMT, 10 March 2013

Arsenal have joined Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham in the race to sign Saint-Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a player dubbed 'the African Neymar.'

The club's scout, Gilles Grimandi, had a close look at Aubameyang in the 2-2 draw with Rennes on Friday night, in which the Gabon player scored his 16th goal of the season.

Good impression: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for Saint-Etienne on Friday night in front of a number of Premier League scouts

Good impression: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for Saint-Etienne on Friday night in front of a number of Premier League scouts

Prospect: Arsenal have joined Chelsea, Spurs and Newcastle in the race to sign the 15m-rated Gabon striker

Prospect: Arsenal have joined Chelsea, Spurs and Newcastle in the race to sign the 15m-rated Gabon striker

Already highly-regarded in France, Aubameyang has moved onto the radar of a number of Premier League sides, many of whom have sent over scouts to watch him.

Arsene Wenger is expected to deploy Grimandi and chief scout Steve Rowley to more Saint-Etienne matches before the end of the campaign, as Arsenal ponder a 10m move.

Newcastle came close to signing the 23-year-old in the January transfer window, only for the French club to reject their bid as they hold out for a 15m fee in the summer.

Celebration: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent trusted scout Gilles Grimandi to watch Aubameyang on Friday

Celebration: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent trusted scout Gilles Grimandi to watch Aubameyang on Friday

Ederson strips off to celebrate Lazio win

Well that's one way to celebrate! Lazio player marks victory by taking his clothes off

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UPDATED:

14:42 GMT, 7 December 2012

If taking your shirt off after scoring a goal is worthy of a yellow card these days, then surely this victory strip deserves red!

Lazio’s Ederson entertained supporters by undressing on the side of the pitch and throwing his jersey and pants into the stands after beating NK Maribor 4-1 in Lazio’s final Europa League match on Thursday night.

Celebration strip: Lazio's Ederson marks his side's win by braving the cold and stripping off to his underwear

Celebration strip: Lazio's Ederson marks his side's win by braving the cold and stripping off to his underwear

Unwrapped: Ederson then hands his sweaty clothes to adoring Lazio fans

Unwrapped: Ederson then hands his sweaty clothes to adoring Lazio fans

Two goals from Sergio Floccari helped Lazio secure top spot in Group J and join the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle in the knockout stages of Europe’s second-tier tournament.

Libor Kozak and Stefan Radu also scored for the visitors before Marcos Tavares hit a late consolation.

But it was Ederson who provided the highlight of the evening and grabbed the headlines with this late strip show in front of supporters.

Wrapped up: Ederson (left) in action during the 4-1 Europa League victory and still with his clothes on

Wrapped up: Ederson (left) in action during the 4-1 Europa League victory and still with his clothes on

The Brazilian is playing his first season in Italy, having previously played in France for Nice and Lyon. He joined Lazio this summer on a five-year contract but a few minor injuries have disrupted the start of his season.

He has only played for the Brazilian senior team once but won the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in 2003.

Chest the ticket: the Brazilian snubbed France in order to play for the Samba boys

Chest the ticket: the Brazilian snubbed France in order to play for the Samba boys

Cold snap: Ederson takes off his shorts after Lazio progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League

Cold snap: Ederson takes off his shorts after Lazio progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League

He could have played for France on residency rules, but chose to represent the Samba boys.

And judging by these pictures, he’s a born entertainer.

Everton 1 Arsenal 1: Marouane Fellaini earns a point after Theo Walcott"s lightning fast start

Everton 1 Arsenal 1: Fellaini a hit but it's a sore point for Moyes

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UPDATED:

22:12 GMT, 28 November 2012

This has been a season that has hinted at great promise for Everton but it is also bringing David Moyes great frustration.

While Moyes should feel content with how his side are performing and the way his players blend, the rewards are simply not coming.

Arsenal’s visit to Goodison Park last night merely added another chapter to an increasingly familiar story.

Hair-raising: Marouane Fellaini drew Everton level after 27 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area

Hair-raising: Marouane Fellaini drew Everton level after 27 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area

Celebration time: Everton's players mob Fellaini after he scores their leveller

Celebration time: Everton's players mob Fellaini after he scores their leveller

MATCH FACTS

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith (Oviedo 61), Gibson (Hitzlsperger 72), Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios

Goal: Fellaini 28

Booked: Gibson, Oviedo

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny (Gibbs 4), Vermaelen, Walcott, Ramsey (Gervinho 79), Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla (Coquelin 90), Giroud

Subs not used: Mannone, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson

Goal: Walcott 1

Booked: Gibbs

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Attendance: 37,141

The latest Premier League fixtures, table and results

Despite falling behind to a goal from
Theo Walcott after 52 seconds — the quickest strike of the campaign
until Robin van Persie popped up at Old Trafford in the later kick-off —
Everton dominated Arsene Wenger’s side but all they had to show for
their efforts was Marouane Fellaini’s equaliser.

They deserved so much more.

There is no better venue in the
country for football to be played under floodlights than this
atmospheric old stadium and, given the encouraging start Everton have
made to the campaign, the sense of anticipation before kick-off was
tangible.

The expectation, though, was checked
within just 52 seconds. Everton’s shape and concentration was lacking as
the game got under way and that allowed Walcott to power through the
middle, trading passes with Aaron Ramsey before finishing smartly via a
deflection off Tony Hibbert.

After the frustrations his side
experienced against Aston Villa at the weekend, this was the kind of
start Wenger had dreamed about.

It was also an opportunity for —Walcott to show why Arsenal should do all they can to agree new terms.

This was Walcott’s 10th goal in his
last 18 appearances. The ratio might not be as prolific as the now
departed Robin van Persie, but it is still an impressive return and not
the type that could be easily — or cheaply — replaced if he was to
leave.

Lightning start: Theo Walcott (centre) fired Arsenal into the lead after just 52 seconds - the quickest Premier League goal of the season until Robin Van Persie scored after 31 for Man United

Lightning start: Theo Walcott (centre) fired Arsenal into the lead after just 52 seconds – the quickest Premier League goal of the season until Robin Van Persie scored after 31 for Man United

Down low: Tim Howard makes a save as Tony Hibbert and Theo Walcott watch on

Down low: Tim Howard makes a save as Tony Hibbert and Theo Walcott watch on

Tough tackling: Everton's Steven Pienaar gets stuck in to Bacary Sagna

Tough tackling: Everton's Steven Pienaar gets stuck in to Bacary Sagna

Fully committed: Sagna gets a foot in to steal the ball away from Nikica Jelavic

Fully committed: Sagna gets a foot in to steal the ball away from Nikica Jelavic

CROWD WATCH

There were no controversial chants and just a great atmosphere under the Goodison Park floodlights.

This hard-fought match was played in an environment that you would hope for and expect at most Premier League stadiums.

He was involved in everything
encouraging Arsenal did in the opening exchanges and the assured,
elegant way the visitors moved the ball around after that goal may have
caused Moyes to worry that a defeat similar to the 6-1 drubbing Arsenal
administered here in August 2009 was on the cards.

This Everton team, however, is made of
much sterner character and, crucially, it is imbued with more quality.
Roared on by the partisan crowd, they carried the fight to Arsenal,
asserting their physical presence and energy.

Central to the plot was the imposing presence of Fellaini.

Reflexes: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny keeps out an attempt by Everton's Sylvain Distin

Reflexes: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny keeps out an attempt by Everton's Sylvain Distin

Breaking clear: Pienaar tries to shake off the attentions of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Breaking clear: Pienaar tries to shake off the attentions of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Letting rip: Pienaar gets past former Evertonian Mikel Arteta to get in a strike at goal

Letting rip: Pienaar gets past former Evertonian Mikel Arteta to get in a strike at goal

On the run: Pienaar takes on the Arsenal defence

On the run: Pienaar takes on the Arsenal defence

He is always guaranteed to stand out
from the crowd because of his unique hairstyle and huge frame, but he is
also a superb footballer.

Arsenal were just the latest team to discover how difficult it is to contain him.

It came as no surprise, then, that
Fellaini was the man who restored parity. There did not appear much on
when he latched onto a loose ball which Bacary Sagna had failed to
control but, showing great poise, he swept a left-footed curling shot
past Wojciech Szczesny from 25 yards.

That came at the end of a spell of
Everton pressure and gave the hosts even more confidence. They set about
trying to poke their noses in front and should have done so on 39
minutes when Nikica Jelavic crafted a wonderful chance.

High flyers: Mikel Arteta tries to reach the ball as Marouane Fellaini ushers it along with his chest

High flyers: Mikel Arteta tries to reach the ball as Marouane Fellaini ushers it along with his chest

Sandwich: Aaron Ramsey (left) and Mikel Arteta close in on Everton's Leighton Baines

Sandwich: Aaron Ramsey (left) and Mikel Arteta close in on Everton's Leighton Baines

Tangle: Theo Walcott tries to break free of Leon Osman (left) and Tony Hibbert

Tangle: Theo Walcott tries to break free of Leon Osman (left) and Tony Hibbert

His chest control and subsequent
turning of Per Mertesacker was exemplary but, unfortunately for the
Croatian, he blazed his shot over the bar.

It was a strike symptomatic of a striker who has only scored twice since the end of September.

Moyes may have been frustrated that
Everton could not get the second goal their play merited but half-time
did not check their momentum. They came out after the break with the
same drive and determination and, as a result, Arsenal’s ambitions were
limited to simply withstanding the intense pressure.

With Moyes never leaving his technical area, constantly urging his players forward, Everton tried to turning the screw.

First Steven Naismith went close, then
Sylvain Distin headed straight at Szczesny from point blank range when
picked out by Leighton Baines.

Baines and Steven Pienaar’s
combination play was a particular nuisance for Arsenal and Pienaar
should have had a penalty in the 64th minute when he surged into
Arsenal’s box but referee Michael Oliver felt Mikel Arteta’s challenge
on the South African was legitimate and awarded a corner.

The way Moyes reacted, flinging his arms out and shaking his head, told its own story.

Frustration. Plain and simple.

Graeme Swann praises batting of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen

Swann full of praise for 'class' Pietersen as tourists look to push on

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UPDATED:

14:00 GMT, 24 November 2012

Kevin Pietersen proved just why all the effort to reintegrate him as an England player was worthwhile.

The point was certainly not lost on Graeme Swann, for one, after Pietersen and captain Alastair Cook had batted their country into a position of relative strength on day two of the second Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium.

Swann (four for 70) had good cause for personal celebration, after becoming the first England off-spinner to take 200 Test wickets as the tourists bowled India out for 327.

Digging in: Graeme Swann praised the batting Kevin Pietersen which put England in a good position

Digging in: Graeme Swann praised the batting Kevin Pietersen which put England in a good position

He even dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara (135) for the first time in the series, after almost 18 hours of vain previous effort from England.

But it was the unbroken stand of 110 between Cook (87 not out) and Pietersen (62no), in a stumps total of 178 for two, which most cheered England.

While captain Cook once again demonstrated all the virtues so evident in his rearguard 176 in Ahmedabad last week, Pietersen was back to his swaggering best too following a worryingly fretful and unsuccessful first Test back.

'Kevin today showed what a class player he is. We all know how good a player he is,' Swann told BBC Test Match Special.

'It is great to see him being so positive and playing some old-fashioned KP shots.'
Swann was depicted in many quarters as one of the senior players with whom Pietersen needed to rebuild strained relations after his summer of discontent.

But that does not mean he is not thankful to have the South Africa-born batsman back on his side.

'I'm sure he'll be keen to dig in tomorrow, as will Cookie, and make this partnership massive,' he added.

'It's very important … you don't get to 30 for three, 30 for four, sending shockwaves through the changing room.

'If you get off to a good start, and have guys at the crease who are comfortable, it does have a calming influence.

'Apart from me having my pads on as nightwatchman, it was a very calm changing room.'

Cook is showing once again that captaincy suits him, in the infancy of his tenure in permanent charge of the Test team.

'I said before the series that if Cookie's batting could blossom as a captain, as it did in the one-day arena, we'd be a very lucky team,' added Swann.

'He's batted magnificently in the three innings he's played so far.'

As for his own achievement – fellow off-spinner Harbhajan Singh today became his milestone Test victim – Swann still feels as if he is living the dream.

While Duncan Fletcher was England coach, there seemed little prospect of Swann winning favour, but that all changed in time for him to make his debut at the age of 29 in 2008.

In a good place: Graeme Swann chipped in with four wickets

In a good place: Graeme Swann chipped in with four wickets

'Five years ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of taking 200 Test wickets,' he said.
'I'm absolutely over the moon the way my career has panned out for me.

'The change at the top (came) just at the right time for me, and it's been a great four years. I've enjoyed every minute.'

He is also delighted to be bowling again with his former Northamptonshire team-mate Monty Panesar, who finished with five wickets today.

'Monty bowled magnificently,” added Swann.

'It's great to see, because I'm a big advocate of playing two spinners – I love playing with Monty.

'I just love it when he takes a wicket.

'That face like a man possessed, when he got Sachin Tendulkar out yesterday, I've never seen a man so wound up in my life as Mont there – it was brilliant.'

India, meanwhile, must reassess after their first really tough day of the series.

'The target was to get 350,” said Pujara.

'We tried our best, but I still think we had a decent total on the board.

'We needed more wickets, but a couple of decisions went against us.'

The tireless number three finally made a mistake, and was stumped off an arm ball – giving Swann another reason to smile.

'It's very nice to finally dismiss him,' he said.

'It doesn't normally take three innings of a Test series to get a man out.

'But we've done it now, so we hope that's taken the finger out of the dam.'

England have reason to hope the tide has turned too for them, and Pietersen especially.

Braintree 0 Tranmere 3: Match report

Braintree 0 Tranmere 3: Hosts fall short as League One side sail through to second round of FA Cup

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UPDATED:

01:19 GMT, 14 November 2012

It was the biggest night in Braintree's history – but Tranmere brushed them aside like a nuisance.

Three goals from Joe Thompson, Cole Stockton and Max Power eased top of League One Tranmere through to the second round of the FA Cup.

Yellow peril: The team from league One were too strong on the night for Braintree

Yellow peril: The team from league One were too strong on the night for Braintree

Conference Premier side Braintree have
never made it that far and this was only the second time they have
reached the first round.

And boss Alan Devonshire said: 'Occasions like this don't come along often. I'm just disappointed we didn't score. You want to stay in cup competitions for as long as possible.'

Striker Stockton sealed the win in the 53rd minute with a 20-yard strike then laid the ball off to substitute Power in the final minute of the 90 to side-foot in the third.

Take it to the Max: Power wheels away in celebration after scoring his side's third goal

Take it to the Max: Power wheels away in celebration after scoring his side's third goal

Thompson had scored the opener on 24 minutes – reacting first to Jake Jervis's powerful first-time volley that Danny Naisbitt could only palm into the air.

Tranmere manager Roonie Moore said: 'We're never going to win the cup. I'd like to get through to the next round against Chesterfield, get a nice third round tie against a Manchester United or a Liverpool and then out.'

Cricket match fixing: Was the World Cup semi-final fixed?

As England prepare for the First Test in India, an incendiary new book poses a question that will stun cricket… was the World Cup semi-final fixed

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UPDATED:

02:35 GMT, 10 November 2012

The India v Pakistan World Cup semi-final in Mohali on March 30, 2011 may just have been the most keenly anticipated game of cricket ever played.

As the Asian subcontinent came to a standstill, Ed Hawkins — a sports-betting journalist who had spent months investigating corruption in cricket — was following the game on TV at home in London with a friend. India batted first and were relieved that Pakistan’s fielders contrived to drop Sachin Tendulkar four times on his way to 85.

But as their innings came to an end, Hawkins received a tweet from an Indian bookmaker called Parthiv, a contact he had established during his investigations.

The tweet he sent would cast doubt on the probity of one of the most famous one-day games of all time. In an extract from his new book, Bookie, Gambler, Fixer, Spy, Hawkins takes up the story…

Celebration time : Harbhajan Singh is ecstatic after taking the wicket of Afridi in the 2011 World Cup semi-final, the match about which the allegations in a new book have been made

Celebration time : Harbhajan Singh is ecstatic after taking the wicket of Afridi in the 2011 World Cup semi-final, the match about which the allegations in a new book have been made

With the innings winding down and my friend Cherrene off making more tea, I check emails, news sites, Facebook and, finally, my Twitter account. Parthiv had sent a message:

‘Bookie update… India will bat first and score over 260, 3 wickets fall within the first 15 overs, pak will cruise to 100, then lose 2 quick wickets, at 150 they will be 5 down and crumble and lose by a margin of over 20 runs.’

‘Chezza,’ I called out. ‘I think you’d better have a look at this. A bookie has messaged me. He’s sent me a script of what is going to happen.’

‘Oh, this is extraordinary! Let me read it… oh good God! How many have India got’
India are approaching 260. At the start of the final over they are 256 for seven. Bowled by Wahab Riaz, it goes dot ball-wicket-single-single-wicket-two. India close on 260. Cherrene is beside herself. I urge calm. ‘Hang on a sec, he said more than 260. The proof will be when Pakistan bat.’

‘Oh, this is amazing!’

Indeed it was. Parthiv had been correct twice previously when he had messaged with information about a fix during a game. But he had not sent anything as detailed as this. I checked the scorecard. He was wrong about India losing three wickets in the first 15 overs and his prediction was out by a single run for a total of more than 260. This would be enough to exonerate India from wrongdoing.

Team-talk: Pakistani cricketers form a huddle during the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan, the match about which the allegations have been made

Team-talk: Pakistani cricketers form a huddle during the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan, the match about which the allegations have been made

The information for Pakistan’s innings was more thorough… ‘pak will cruise to 100, then lose 2 quick wickets, at 150 they will be 5 down and crumble and lose by a margin of over 20 runs’. Had this been received from anyone other than an Indian bookmaker it would be considered a wild guess.

I email two gambling associates, including Geoffrey Riddle, a journalist, sharing Parthiv’s script and telling them that I expect Pakistan’s innings to unfold exactly as he said. Parthiv had form, I write, for accuracy.

COULD IT BE A LUCKY GUESS

Ever since that message from Parthiv I have fretted over whether it could have been a lucky guess.

I asked Jatin Thakkar, a Mumbai-based statistician, to search his database, which stretched back to December 1992, to reveal the likelihood of predicting Pakistan’s innings to such detail.

His results proved that if Parthiv had made it up, then he was on the kind of lucky streak which demanded the purchase of a lottery scratchcard.

Such a sequence — ‘Pakistan cruise to 100, lose 2 quick wickets, at 150 they will be 5 down and crumble and lose by a margin of over 20 runs’ — is rare over the study period. Jatin explained his method: ‘I took matches in which a team was chasing 250 to 280 and then applied the match situations that Pakistan’s chase went through in the exact manner.’

It has happened six times in the 2,434 matches.
As a percentage, this is 0.24650780608052586. Translated into odds, it is a 405–1 against shot.
To put this into context, a hat-trick is a 106–1 chance, a five-wicket haul is 8–1 and a century 11–2.

This is not impossible, by any stretch of the imagination, but a long chance nonetheless.

The responses I receive are laden with expletives, expressing dismay that there could be any doubt about a World Cup semi-final between two such bitter rivals. Both of them, of course, tell me they have placed big wagers on India to go on to win the match.

Feelings of excitement at the start of the match have morphed into nerves, dread and bewilderment. Cherrene is tense, too. She sits forward on the sofa, knees together and holding a cushion to her chest. She says she hopes that Parthiv’s message proves to be wrong.

‘He has been right twice previously,’ I tell her. ‘He can’t keep getting it right. I’m sure his information must be wrong sometimes. Law of averages and all that.’

As Pakistan’s innings begins we are both gripped by a feeling of surreal fear. Not the usual fear that a fan holds in his heart when watching a sporting contest; the feeling of not knowing whether his team will succeed, fail horribly or acquit themselves with pride so he too can feel proud; the one which ties the stomach in knots and makes the heart beat faster, reverberating against the rib cage.

It is an anxiety of a totally different kind inspired by the feeling that what is being played out in front of our eyes is planned, while desperately hoping that it is not. The stomach turns; the heart sinks.

‘It could all be over very quickly, Chezza,’ I say reassuringly. ‘Pakistan could be two down for nothing and then they won’t be cruising to a hundred.’

‘Yes, there is that,’ she says.

Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan opening batsman, hits the first ball and the last ball of the first over of the reply for four. Cherrene and I exchange worried glances. The first of many I suspect. We are not put out of our misery early as, thanks to Akmal’s dashing blade, Pakistan start well. At the end of the eighth over they are 43 for no loss, scoring at a rate of 5.37 an over.

‘Well, they are certainly cruising at the moment,’ Cherrene says.

‘Do you think that would stand up in court’ I joke.

Akmal’s is the first wicket to fall. Attempting to crash a square drive through point, he is undone by a slower delivery from Zaheer Khan and he guides the ball into the fielder’s hands. The score is 44 for one.

Asad Shafiq joins Mohammad Hafeez at the crease. Their progress is serene and the clatter of wickets that we hope for does not materialise. Hafeez is out in the 16th over.

The Cricinfo commentary describes his wicket: ‘What was Hafeez thinking Again, yet again, a lovely 30 to 40 and he has combusted. He went for a paddle sweep, yeah a paddle sweep, to a full delivery outside off stump and edged it to Dhoni. Oh dear. Pressure Or overconfidence’

Winning feeling: India celebrate the game about which the allegations have been made

Winning feeling: India celebrate the game about which the allegations have been made

Pakistan steady the ship. A clich it may be, but one that has a double meaning in this context. With Shafiq and Younis Khan they are cruising. Shafiq turns the fifth ball of the 23rd over off his pads to take two runs and bring up Pakistan’s hundred.

Their run rate is 4.34. They require a further 161 runs from 27 overs. There is no doubt they are going well.

‘OK Chezza,’ I say, ‘They have got to a hundred pretty easily but this is where it gets interesting.’

'NO REASON TO INVESTIGATE'

Of allegations about corruption in this match, Haroon Lorgat, then the ICC chief executive, stated: ‘The ICC has no reason or evidence to require an investigation into this match. It is indeed sad for spurious claims to be made which only serve to cause doubt on the semi-final of one of the most successful ICC Cricket World Cups ever.’

‘Read the next bit of the script.’

‘It says: “Pakistan will cruise to 100, then lose two quick wickets.” Hold on to yourself. This is where we get an answer whether this thing is accurate or not. There can be no quibbling about “two quick wickets”.’

The next over is to be bowled by Yuvraj Singh. Younis takes a single from the first ball. Cherrene and I breathe a sigh of relief. So too after the second, third and fourth balls of the over, which are negotiated without alarm.

‘I reckon if they score 20 runs before a wicket falls we can forget about the script,’ I say.

‘Hope so,’ Cherrene replies as Yuvraj trundles in for the fifth ball. Our collective breath is held again as the ball is released.

Shafiq steps away from his stumps, trying to direct the ball towards third man. He misses and it knocks his middle stump out of the ground.

‘Bowled him! Yuvi! Yuvi! Yuvi!’ shouts commentator Mark Nicholas.

‘Another magical breakthrough,’ says Rameez Raja.

‘Uh oh,’ says Cherrene.

‘One more,’ I say, ‘And we might have a fix.’

Ten balls later it is Yuvraj again who, with more of a spring in his stride, jumps into his elegant, high left-arm action. The ball is full and tempting to drive. Younis Khan is tempted.

He throws his hands at the ball but as he does so his right leg, his back leg, flies from under him, as if tethered by a rope which someone has suddenly decided to tug sharply.

He is off balance, now reaching, trying to right himself in the shot. The ball hits high on the bat and is miscued horribly, up in the air, straight into the hands of mid-off. Pakistan are 106 for four. They have added six runs. They have lost two wickets in 10 balls. A swift demise. Rapid. Quick.

‘Well, that was depressingly predictable,’ I say.

‘This is just dreadful, dreadful, dreadful,’ Cherrene says.

An email from Geoffrey Riddle arrives. ‘Amazing info!’ Another contact telephones me. He says he can’t believe what he is seeing. ‘It’s like I’m watching a replay, knowing the fall of the wickets and the result.’

Howzat: Irfan Pathan appeals successfully for an LBW decision against Imran Nazir as non-striker Mohammad Hafeez watches on during the match about which the allegations were made

Howzat: Irfan Pathan appeals successfully for an LBW decision against Imran Nazir as non-striker Mohammad Hafeez watches on during the match about which the allegations were made

Cherrene has gone very quiet. It is a blessed relief that we have a relative hiatus until the next action, according to whoever the director of this game is, takes place. I try to reassure Cherrene that it still could all prove to be wrong.

Pakistan are only four wickets down and could comfortably recover to win the match and book a final spot in Mumbai. At the end of the 27th over they are 112 for four. Umar Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq are the batsmen. The script tells us that we cannot expect more than two wickets until Pakistan have reached 150.

The tension has dissipated now. The dread that we felt earlier about this fearsome tale coming true has been replaced by a disheartening acceptance.

Cherrene and I sit glum-faced as we watch the pictures from Mohali, a doom-laden contrast with the supporters in the stadium who wave flags and leap and shout as a contest which is unique in its standing in the cricket world unfolds. Unique to us for a different reason.

It is in a daze, rather, that we watch the match continue, as if waiting to be awoken again by an alarm bell as Pakistan approach 150. Umar Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq are rebuilding Pakistan’s innings and, with each over they survive, keeping the wickets column showing four and with each run they move closer to 150, we become more alert.

Eight runs away from 150 — ‘at 150 they will be five down’ — the fifth wicket falls. It is Umar Akmal who is out, getting himself into a most unedifying muddle against the spin bowling of Harbhajan Singh. The confusion is matched on my sofa.

‘I just don’t believe this is happening,’ Cherrene says.

With the script accurate — Pakistan reach 150 off the second ball of the 37th over — the ‘crumble’ begins immediately. Abdul Razzaq is the sixth Pakistan batsman out one ball later and the television commentators begin to dissect Pakistan’s performance.

Younis Khan and Misbah come in for particular criticism. Younis scored 13 off 32 balls, a strike rate of 40.62. Misbah scored 17 from the first 42 balls he faced, playing out 27 dots. During this period Pakistan’s required run rate jumped from 6.07 to 8.45. During the 74 balls in which Younis and Misbah were at the crease together, 30 runs were scored.

Shahid Afridi is the seventh wicket to fall, at 184. Pakistan are, indeed, crumbling to ‘lose by a margin over 20 runs’. When Afridi skies a catch to Virender Sehwag off Harbhajan Singh, Ravi Shastri, the former India captain-turned-commentator, says: ‘These are baffling tactics from Pakistan.’

Rather than referring to the shot which Afridi played, Shastri is wondering why Pakistan have not taken the final powerplay — five overs when fielding restrictions should allow batsmen like Afridi to score more freely. They take the powerplay in the 45th over with Misbah and Umar Gul, the bowler, at the crease. When Misbah hits a four in the 48th over, Mark Nicholas, the hyperbole in his voice reduced to a befuddled whine, says: ‘That’s the reason we can’t fathom why it (the powerplay) was not taken earlier.’

Misbah takes 14 off the over. ‘If he can produce these shots, why didn’t he produce it earlier on’ Rameez Raja says.

India win by 29 runs. Misbah’s is the last wicket to fall. We see a shot of the prime ministers of India and Pakistan. Sat together, they applaud politely, their emotions inscrutable.

Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan all-rounder working as an analyser for Sky Sports, says: ‘Two terrible innings from senior Pakistan players Younis and Misbah. There was no panic.’

Nick Knight, once an England one-day opening batsman, agrees: ‘I’m at a loss to explain those two innings.’

Adapted from BOOKIE GAMBLER FIXER SPY: A JOURNEY TO THE CORRUPT HEART OF CRICKET’S UNDERWORLD by Ed Hawkins, to be published by Bloomsbury on November 15 @ 16.99. Copyright 2012 Ed Hawkins To order a copy for 14.49 (incl p&p), call 0843 382 0000.

Nicola Cortese: Southampton"s Saint with an iron fist

He saved Southampton from oblivion but here's why Ted Bates' statue means fans can't accept… the Saint with an iron fist!

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UPDATED:

23:32 GMT, 8 November 2012

Ted Bates braves the wet wind that whips off the Solent and buffets St Mary’s Stadium. He waves and smiles genially in the general direction of the concrete works. ‘Mr Southampton’ they called him, an emblem of loyalty and devotion who spent his wedding night watching Saints play Charlton at The Dell.

Bates served the club for 66 years of their 126-year history as a player, manager, director and president and this statue was unveiled in 2008, five years after his death.

An earlier statue, unveiled four years after his death, had to be removed because supporters were horrified that it appeared to be a cross between Jimmy Krankie and (worse still) former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric.

Winner or sinner Nicola Cortese has got results but is not loved by fans, unlike under-pressure boss Nigel Adkins

Winner or sinner Nicola Cortese has got results but is not loved by fans, unlike under-pressure boss Nigel Adkins

Winner or sinner Nicola Cortese has got results but is not loved by fans, unlike under-pressure Nigel Adkins

It is rarely straightforward where Saints are concerned, even in times of celebration. Back in the Barclays Premier League, they are wrestling with the fall-out of eight defeats in 10 games, an under-fire manager, a leaky defence and rumbling discontent eating away at the club.

Central to all this is Nicola Cortese, the club’s executive chairman and modern-day ‘Mr Southampton’, not in the popular sense like Bates, but in the sense that he enjoys undiluted power and control.
He is answerable to no-one and several of those who have worked closely with him are scathing of his people skills.

Although he rarely speaks publicly, you do not have to spend long in the city before stories tumble out about staff being driven to tears and walking out of their jobs. At least one former employee who was sacked then took legal action.

There has been a rapid turnover of staff behind the scenes at St Mary’s during Cortese’s rule, including senior management positions, some of which remain vacant.

Before: Southampton's old Ted Bates statue

After: Southampton's new Ted Bates statue

Before and after: Southampton's old Ted Bates statue (left) and the replacement (right) outside St Mary's

The 44-year-old Italian, a banker by trade, is ‘not a very nice human being’ who rules by fear with an ‘iron fist’, according to Matt Le Tissier, but more of him later.

Cortese’s advocates prefer to describe him as ‘ambitious’, ‘demanding’ and ‘unconventional’, a driven businessman who has stripped away unnecessary fat from the club to prepare it for the future, progress which has upset a few along the way. They also point to three successful years under his stewardship, his careful attention to detail and the fact his achievements have been admired by bigger clubs, notably AC Milan.

The obvious counter-claim here is that the infrastructure for success was already in place despite their lowly status: the stadium, the training ground and a prolific academy.

Alan Pardew and Nigel Adkins and the players may feel entitled to a share of the credit.

Nevertheless, Saints were thrashing around in League One and being eyed by various potential new owners when Cortese brokered the deal for Swiss industrialist Markus Liebherr to buy them out of administration for around 12million and vowed to take them back to the Barclays Premier League.

He delivered on this promise ahead of schedule, taking full control of the club at the behest of his boss’s family when Liebherr died of a heart attack at the age of 62 in August 2010.

Grudge: Matthew Le Tissier is just one of a number of Saints legends that Cortese has upset

Grudge: Matthew Le Tissier is just one of a number of Saints legends that Cortese has upset

Southampton had already won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley and promotion to the Championship followed before a return to the Premier League after a seven-year absence.

So what do supporters prefer A cosy old-fashioned club with a friendly smile and a family feel who sometimes get the statues wrong Or a control freak who streamlines the business and leads them back to the Promised Land while making life uncomfortable for many inside the club

Cortese tests his staff from dawn until dusk, including his managers and, for experienced Saints- watchers, this week’s developments with Adkins had echoes of the beginning of the end for Pardew.
Adkins was summoned to the chairman’s office on Tuesday after a defeat at West Bromwich, the eighth in 10 Barclays Premier League games.

The former Scunthorpe manager emerged with his job but under no illusions that results must improve quickly, starting against Swansea on Saturday. Adkins described his relationship with Cortese as ‘very good’ at a press conference on Thursday but added: ‘Let’s not hide from the fact at some stage there is always a parting of the ways between a manager and a football club. We sit at the bottom. That’s reality.’

The fans are backing the manager — just as they backed Pardew until he was fired after winning 4-0 at Bristol Rovers — and sang his name after losing at the Hawthorns.

Bad start: Southampton sit bottom of the Premier League and are leaking goals at an alarming rate

Bad start: Southampton sit bottom of the Premier League and are leaking goals at an alarming rate

Cortese, however, makes no excuses for his ambition. He is not likely to tolerate relegation. A poll in the Southern Daily Echo, the local newspaper, showed 78 per cent wanted Adkins to stay, although the normally vociferous supporters’ groups have fallen silent, wary that speaking out may cost them their ticket.

Saints Trust chairman Nick Illingsworth ended up at the Independent Football Ombudsman, where his complaint was upheld, ruling he had been singled out for special treatment by the club when refused the right to buy a season ticket.

The Echo has been banned from covering Southampton games and media events for nearly two years. This relationship broke down when the Echo reported a story from a council planning meeting about the redevelopment of the training ground. And it deteriorated further when the Echo reported Le Tissier had been voted as Southampton’s best ever player, an award run in conjunction with the club’s 125th anniversary.

Cortese and Le Tissier have been engaged in a bitter feud since the latter backed a rival consortium during the takeover period.

Le Tissier can stake his own claim to being ‘Mr Southampton’ after 540 games for Saints in 16 years, scoring 210 goals, and at times giving the illusion he was single-handedly keeping them in the Premier League.

Now a high-profile pundit on Sky Sports, with hero status secured in the city, he has become the chief public voice of dissent to the regime. Dignitaries from visiting clubs have been shocked to see Cortese demanding that the televisions should be turned off in the directors’ room at St Mary’s when Le Tissier came on.

Ray of hope: Southampton have had no problem finding the net since their return to the top flight

Ray of hope: Southampton have had no problem finding the net since their return to the top flight

Earlier this season, when he was working for Sky in the commentary box, Le Tissier gave his season ticket to a friend who found the electronic ticket did not work at the turnstile.

The friend was then escorted to the ticket office and asked for identification to prove he was ‘Matt Le Tissier’, the name on the ticket.

Cortese has alienated more of Southampton’s favourite sons, among them FA Cup-winning manager Lawrie McMenemy and Francis Benali, a former captain who has an ongoing legal case regarding a house he rented to the club which was lived in and, he claims, damaged by Cortese.

The Ex Saints, an association for former players who used to give speeches, present prizes and mingle in corporate areas before and after games have now disappeared from view.

They would pay more than 30,000 a year for a hospitality box in the centre of the main stand but were told this box was no longer available. Offered a box nearer the corner, they declined.

Is it the classic clash of football and business Or is that old football and new football It can seem a peculiar industry, nurturing the past and indulging those with the club in their blood when it does not always make economic sense.

Yet for many here lies the charm. For them it is important that Ted Bates does not look like Milan Mandaric as he waves at the concrete works. Just as it is important the Saints were saved and led back to the Premier League.

Additional reporting: Laurie Whitwell

Eden Hazard celebrates Chelsea goal – Kevin Quigley image of the week

Kevin Quigley: My favourite image of the week – Hazard celebrates Chelsea goal

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UPDATED:

07:44 GMT, 7 November 2012

My image is from last week's pulsating Capital One Cup tie between Chelsea and Manchester United.

I captured this brilliant celebration from Eden Hazard after he scored a last minute equaliser to send the game into extra time.

Sitting on Manchester United attack, Chelsea were awarded a penalty in the dying moments. Fearing I would be at the wrong end, I ran down the side of the pitch and quickly positioned myself at the side for the penalty.

After Hazard scored, he ran and jumped into the air giving me this stunning image and, of course, feeling very happy that I'd sprinted down!

Let me know what you think by commenting below or tweet me at @kevinquigley_dm

Kevin Quigley: My favourite image of the week - Hazard celebrates Chelsea goal

I shot this with:

Nikon D3s
70-200mm
1000th second
F: 2.8
Iso 2500

New England Patriots 45 St Louis Rams 7: Tom Brady leads another resounding Wembley win

New England Patriots 45 St Louis Rams 7: Brady leads another one-sided Wembley win

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UPDATED:

20:43 GMT, 28 October 2012

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been one of the more vocal supporters of the NFL's annual trip to London and now we know why.

Three years after their 35-7 demolition of Tampa Bay here, his team enjoyed another Wembley rout as they brushed aside the self-destructing St Louis Rams behind an outstanding display from star quarterback Tom Brady.

A class apart: Tom Brady threw five touchdowns

A class apart: Tom Brady threw five touchdowns as he racked up 304 yards in one-sided win at Wembley

Before the game, Kraft lent his
support to the notion of London one day becoming the permanent home to a
league franchise, but until that day comes perhaps he ought to schedule
in a few more trips to old England for his Patriots.

His opposite number – Rams and
Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke – will instead be happy his team backed out
of plans to come here again in 2013 and 2014.

Wide open: Brandon Lloyd caught a nine-yard pass from Brady for his second touchdown of the evening

Wide open: Brandon Lloyd caught a nine-yard pass from Brady for his second touchdown of the evening

Dominant display: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (No 22) is the centre of attention after scoring the Patriots' fifth touchdown with a one-yard run

Dominant display: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (No 22) is the centre of attention after scoring the Patriots' fifth touchdown with a one-yard run

Theoretically this was a 'home' game
for the Rams, who gave up a contest in St Louis to be here, but it was
played in front of a sell-out crowd dominated by Patriots jerseys and
they were treated to a vintage display from the on-fire Brady.

The 35-year-old completed his first eight passes and eventually piled up 304 yards and four touchdown passes.

Celebration time: Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a seven-yard touchdown, with the tight end performing his trademark 'Gronk Spike'

Celebration time: Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a seven-yard touchdown, with the tight end performing his trademark 'Gronk Spike'

On top: New England Patriots

On top: New England Patriots

The Rams, whose glory days in the
late 90s were effectively ended by Brady and Patriots in 2002's Super
Bowl XXXVI, arrived in London determined to show they were on the way
back under new coach Jeff Fisher.

But instead a young team contributed to their own downfall with a string of mistakes.

One-way traffic: Running back Shane Vereen ran over from one yard for the first of three Patriots touchdowns in the second quarter

One-way traffic: Running back Shane Vereen ran over from one yard for the first of three Patriots touchdowns in the second quarter

It all began so well with Sam
Bradford's 50-yard touchdown pass to Chris Givens lighting up Wembley
only two minutes into the contest.

But then Givens left injured and everything began to unravel. St Louis would not score again.

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Instead, Brady marched back down
field and found Brandon Lloyd for a touchdown that tied it up, and with
the first play of the second quarter, Shane Vereen punched in a second
with a one-yard run.

St Louis could not get going, and
they were their own worst enemies, fumbling a snap when going for a
field goal and then committing costly penalties that only made Brady's
job easier.

Braving the cold: Cheerleaders strut their stuff ahead of the Wembley clash

Braving the cold: Cheerleaders strut their stuff ahead of the Wembley clash

Strictly Come Dancing: The Rams' mascot dances with cheerleaders before the NFL clash

Wish you were here: The Rams' mascot dances with cheerleaders before the NFL clash

And easy was how it looked as he
threw another touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski – who treated the London
crowd to special 'changing of the guard' celebration in the end zone –
before Stevan Ridley scored one more on the ground to make it 28-7 at
half-time.

Any hopes of St Louis making a
contest of it in the second half were ended before many of the 84,004
crowd had re-taken their seats, Brady throwing to Lloyd in the end zone
again.

Taking to the stage: Boris Johnson addresses the crowd (below) before Katherine Jenkins sings the British National Anthem

Taking to the stage: Boris Johnson addresses the crowd (below) before Katherine Jenkins sings the British National Anthem

Boris Johnson

Brady threw his fourth touchdown pass
of the evening to Gronkowski early in the fourth quarter before taking
an early exit, job done.

The lop-sided nature of the game did
not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, the second-largest in
the six-year history of the NFL's International Series at Wembley, and
an immediate return to sell-out status after last year's crowd of 77,000
– a number affected by the league's labour lockout that had threatened
the game going ahead at all.

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

That will come as welcome news to NFL
UK as they prepare for 2013, when Wembley will host two games in the
space of a month – a more serious test of the fan base loyalty this side
of the Atlantic.

If they can pass that test, the idea
of a London franchise will come closer to reality. Perhaps Kraft will be
the first to make an offer.