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TMS to cover England tour of India after BBC agree deal

Test Match Special WILL cover England's tour to India after fee deadlock broken

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UPDATED:

13:30 GMT, 1 November 2012

Cricket lovers are breathing a sigh of relief after the BBC reached a deal with the Indian cricket board to broadcast Test Match Special coverage of England's tour to India.

The Beeb's iconic cricket commentary team had threatened to go silent over what they called 'unreasonable demands' being made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to broadcast the series.

The BCCI was reportedly demanding the BBC an extra 50,000 to cover radio production costs at the four Tests in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur and Kolkata.

Voice of TMS: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (right)

Voice of TMS: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (right)

The Corporation had stood firm over the demands, and TMS producer Adam Mountford revealed on Twitter: 'We are pleased to confirm that Test Match Special will broadcast England's cricket tour of India from the grounds.'

Sofa wars: Editor of The Cricketer defends Test Match Sofa in row with BBC's Test Match Special

Click here to read the full story.

Sky were also asked for an additional 500,000 to install television studios at each ground but intend to use the voices of Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain, commentating in a west London studio, over pictures fed by Indian host broadcaster Star Sports.

TMS were reluctant to follow Sky's lead due to the similar service provided by Test Match Sofa website, which provides commentary from south west London based on a TV feed.

Iconic: The BBC's Test Match Special is revered by cricket lovers

Iconic: The BBC's Test Match Special is revered by cricket lovers thanks to its brilliant commentary team and lunchtime guests, such as Lily Allen (below)

Special guest: Lily Allen speaks on Test Match Special

A row broke out on Thursday between current BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, the TMS anchor, and Andrew Miller, editor of The Cricketer magazine, over the latter's defence of Test Match Sofa, which was published on MailOnline.

Agnew has threatened to boycott the magazine over Miller's article, and received support from England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad on Twitter.

TMS has attracted a devoted following since it took to the airwaves in 1957, thanks to the likes of legendary broadcasters John Arlott, Brian Johnston and Agnew.

Among those joining Agnew on TMS's commentary team in India will be Henry Blofeld, Simon Mann, Prakash Wakankar, Geoffrey Boycott and Victor Marks.

Rory McIlroy supported at Irish Open by Carloline Wozniacki

McIlroy finds form thanks to some home comforts… and a visit from Wozniacki

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UPDATED:

09:18 GMT, 29 June 2012

Like young lovers throughout the ages,
Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki turned a blind eye to all the
criticism on Thursday.

More speculation that their blossoming romance was doing little for their careers was greeted by a
public display of togetherness at the Irish Open at Royal Portrush.

Enlarge

Team McIlroy: Rory, dad Gerry and Wozniacki (left)

Team McIlroy: Rory, dad Gerry and Wozniacki (left)

Caroline Wozniacki (L) walks with her boyfriend Rory McIlroy (R) and his father Gerry McIlroy (C)

Golf blog

'How did you get inside the ropes' asked a smiling McIlroy of Wozniacki, down the opening hole. The former tennis world No 1, whose poor form continued with a first-round defeat at Wimbledon, might have temporarily lost her forehand but clearly not her resourcefulness.

Swapping one great sporting stage for another appeared to do Wozniacki the world of good. While her boyfriend knocked in a birdie putt at the second she happily signed autographs and chatted with the locals.

McIlroy's parents are clearly taken with her. With one armband between them, mum Rosie kept her company for a few holes before giving way to dad Gerry.

'What's your lowest score round here' I asked Gerry – a scratch golfer himself, back in the day – down the fifth. Clearly aware that Rory once carded a 61, Wozniacki quickly interjected. 'A 62, Gerry' she asked, smiling.

Watch the birdie: McIlroy tees off at the 1st watched by Martin McGuiness (second left), the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and Peter Robinson, the First Minister of Northern Ireland

Watch the birdie: McIlroy tees off at the 1st watched by Martin McGuiness (second left), the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and Peter Robinson, the First Minister of Northern Ireland

Relaxed: Wozniaki watches the action

Relaxed: Wozniaki watches the action

At the sixth, there was a sight you don't see every day. McIlroy was playing one way and the photographers all had their cameras trained in the opposite direction.

Anyone who knows this gorgeous par three will have an inkling why. There was Wozniacki behind the tee, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. Does it get any better for a cameraman than sun, sea, and a pretty blonde

So Wozniacki showed up here and so, too, did glimpses of the real Rory.

He came home to Northern Ireland having missed four of his last five halfway cuts but here, before a sell-out 27,000 crowd, were plenty of signs that the good times will soon return, both on the course and off it.

Alas, the sun didn't last very long. Play was suspended for almost two hours owing to a thunderstorm, splitting McIlroy's round almost equally in half. A couple of late three-putts turned a good 68 into a respectable two-under 70.

Off course: Wozniacki had suffered an early exit from Wimbledon

Off course: Wozniacki had suffered an early exit from Wimbledon

A slow-running links and holding greens thanks to all the rain, together with little wind, proved a mouth-watering combination for some of Europe's finest. Of the 69 players out in the first wave of play, only 17 failed to break par.

Best of all were the 65s composed by Frenchman Gregory Bourdy and Jeev Milkha Singh, the first Indian golfer to make the European Tour. It can't be easy growing up being the son of India's most famous athlete – Milkha Singh's rise from abject poverty to win a gold medal at the 1968 Commonwealth Games has been made into a Bollywood movie – but gentleman Jeev can be proud of a pioneering career of his own that has yielded 19 victories to date.

Singh is staying with Portrush patriarch Darren Clarke, who gave him a 21-year-old bottle of malt, made down the road at Bushmills. 'I'm going to hold on to it and share it with my dad when I get home,' said Singh.

Unlike McIlroy, Clarke was grateful for the break in play, grabbing three birdies when he returned for a 71, the same score as fellow Portrush native Graeme McDowell.

Best Irish score, however, didn't belong to one of the friends from the north but the renaissance man from the south, Padraig Harrington. Fourth at the US Open, he's growing rapidly in confidence. Get a bet on him for The Open at Lytham now, before his price comes down rapidly.

Joey Barton has home taken over by squatters

'Cheeky b*******!' Barton rages after having his home taken over by squatters

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UPDATED:

16:36 GMT, 14 March 2012

Joey Barton has lashed out at squatters who allegedly broke into his house and changed the locks while he was away with his partner.

The Queens Park Rangers midfielder took to Twitter to stick the boot into the people he claims took over the home he shares with Georgia McNeil.

Away: Joey Barton with his partner Georgia McNeil

Away: Joey Barton with his partner Georgia McNeil

He wrote: 'Just heard the news some squatters had broken into my house last night and changed the locks. The cheeky b*******…..

'Didn't think squatters could break in Anyone know the law regarding these creatures Who ever they are, I hope their f****** fast runners…..

'Surely if they break in, that means their burglars House was secured and locked, all correct hoarding up outside as well. They have left already I think. What a set of cheeky f****** though

'For sheer audacity, I have to give them 10/10. Luckily for them, I'm trying to give up violence…..#jammybastards.

'What's with this London place, no one squats up north. U'd just get t****** for even trying that s***. #southernsofties.

'Might
go to nearest pet shop and purchase 20 tarantulas, 20 snakes and as
many rat as I can get my hands on, pop them through letter box. Then
we'll see who the clever one is. Be warned Squatters….ur time is up.'

High-profile: Barton is attempting to help QPR avoid relegation

High-profile: Barton is attempting to help QPR avoid relegation

He then tweeted: 'Re-thought my plan, usually these folk are animals lovers. Just a bar of soap and some deodorant, should be enough. #smellybuggers

'Cause it's a building site now, they have no squatters rights. Thankfully they have gone now, so I've heard. Heroin addicts as well.

'Squatter issue over and fully sorted. What a firm of cheeky, heroin riddled barstewards they were. Thankfully they sh*t it and left #muppets.'

Barton's girlfriend McNeil – with whom he has a young child called Cassius – also vented her anger on Twitter.

She wrote: 'Just learnt squatters had moved into our new house last night and changed locks….outrageous! I'm absolutely fuming . How dare they! #scum.

'What makes these ppl think they can move into someone else's property and change the locks!'

Craig Bellamy fit to face boyhood club Cardiff as Liverpool chase eighth League Cup at Wembley

Bellamy fit for Wembley date with boyhood club Cardiff as Liverpool chase eighth League Cup

Craig Bellamy is on course for an emotional reunion with Cardiff this weekend after the Liverpool striker insisted he would be fit to play at Wembley.

The Wales international missed Sunday’s 6-1 win over Brighton in the FA Cup with a back problem but he has responded well to treatment and will return to training on Thursday.

Bellamy scored the goal that secured Liverpool’s first trip to Wembley since 1996 in their Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City and is expected to start this weekend.

Starter: Craig Bellamy is all set for Wembley after steering Liverpool past Manchester City

Starter: Craig Bellamy is all set for Wembley after steering Liverpool past Manchester City

‘My back spasmed up after I came on against Manchester United a week and a bit ago, and it just got a little bit worse during the week instead of improving,’ said Bellamy.

‘The manager said “look, if you need an injection then get it done now because we have a lot of games coming up”. It’s such a busy period, so get it sorted just in case. I’m fine at the moment.’

Torn between two lovers: Bellamy

Torn between two lovers: Bellamy

Should Bellamy play a part in Liverpool winning their first major trophy since 2006, it would cap his renaissance after being released by Manchester City last August.

Should Liverpool win, though, it would be a bittersweet occasion for Bellamy.

He was brought up supporting Cardiff and spent an enjoyable 12 months with the club last season after being frozen out by Roberto Mancini.

For that reason, Bellamy, 32, will show respect if he adds to his haul of nine goals.

‘I certainly won’t celebrate,’ he said. ‘I tried not to against Manchester City. I tried to hold myself back. Really I didn’t celebrate that much, but in the occasion and the moment you get a little bit carried away.

‘I have no aspirations of celebrating. But I have to be on the pitch first and foremost before I think about scoring.’