Tag Archives: outfield

Tom Cruise switches helicopters at The Oval

It's just not cricket! Tom Cruise arrives in London via helicopter… and parks it at The Oval

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UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 30 November 2012

The Oval is used to playing host to the stars.

Kevin Pietersen and Sachin Tendulkar are just two of a plethora of world renowned cricketers to have graced the hallowed turf of one of the world's most famous grounds in recent years.

Cover drive: Tom Cruise (above left) arrives at The Oval early on Friday morning

Cover drive: Tom Cruise (above left) arrives at The Oval early on Friday morning

Cover drive: Tom Cruise (above left) arrives at The Oval early on Friday morning

But a Hollywood actor parking a helicopter on the outfield Surely not.

Well, that is exactly what happened on Friday morning when A-lister Tom Cruise landed his chopper near the long on boundary before trotting off to the deep extra cover rope to climb into a Chinook and disappear off into the south London sky.

It's just not cricket: Cruise switches into an RAF Chinook

It's just not cricket: Cruise switches into an RAF Chinook

The usual setting: The Oval is used to hosting more serene events

The usual setting: The Oval is used to hosting more serene events

Cruise is currently in Britain filming his latest movie 'All You Need is Kill', and it is thought that the switching of helicopters at The Oval has something to do with the making of it – or at least we hope so.

Club members would have certainly been aghast had they witnessed Cruise's arrival, but the outfield should have plenty of time to recover before the next county season commences in April.

Up and away: Cruise departs after a quick changeover

Up and away: Cruise departs after a quick changeover

Up and away: Cruise departs after a quick changeover

Felipe Melo saves penalty for Galatasaray

Beyond the call of duty! Brazil MIDFIELDER Melo steps up and saves penalty to secure victory for Galatasaray after keeper sees red

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UPDATED:

20:28 GMT, 24 November 2012

'Are you sure you know what you’re doing, mate' Could be the question posed to Galatasaray midfielder Felipe Melo as he proceeded to put on goalkeeping gloves in the 90th minute.

His side were 1-0 up when Fernando Muslera was given his marching orders after giving away a penalty to opponents Elazigspor, handing them the opportunity to snatch a draw at the death.

Fearful the Turkish side would give up the two points, Melo pulled on the departing keeper’s jersey and gloves.

Scroll down for video

What a stop: Felipe Melo saved a penalty to keep Galatasaray's noses in front

What a stop: Felipe Melo saved a penalty to keep Galatasaray's noses in front

As Goksu Turkdogan took his run up, the 29-year-old Brazil midfielder shuffled tentatively to his left before changing his mind and diving to the right.

The outfield player parried the penalty – rather unconventionally – away from goal, sparing his goalkeeper’s blushes and sealing victory for his team in the process.

After Melo palmed Turkdogan’s shot to safety, rather than getting to his feet, he crawled along the floor, pulling a silly face to celebrate as his team-mates rushed to congratulate him.

Who could blame him for this strange display though After all, he had just gone beyond the call of duty and saved a penalty kick – despite being a defensive midfielder.

Unorthodox: Melo crawled along the floor after keeping the penalty out

Unorthodox: Melo crawled along the floor after keeping the penalty out

After stepping up and pulling off an incredible act of heroics for his side, Melo might have replied: 'Did you just see that Of course I know what I’m doing!'

Melo's team's 1-0 win over Elazigspor was their second in succession. Galatasaray beat the visiting Manchester United in Istanbul in the Champions League in midweek.

VIDEO: WATCH FELIPE MELO'S PENALTY SAVE

Alastair Cook and Nick Compton dig in to give England slim fighting chance

Cook and Compton dig in to show England's spirit after first innings collapse

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UPDATED:

11:32 GMT, 17 November 2012

At tea-time today we awaited a dog’s dinner. Instead we got a curate’s egg. As Alastair Cook and Nick Compton calmly began the follow-on with an unbroken stand of 111, the sheer incompetence of England’s first-innings 191 felt all the more bizarre.

Execrable in the morning, they were excellent in the evening. It will probably be too late to save this game, for England still trail by 219. But the way Cook and Compton knuckled down at least prevented this first Test from turning into the kind of one-way traffic that can rob a series of its tension.

Yet while England were slipping to 97 for 7 before lunch today in reply to India’s 521 for 8, that was precisely the scenario feared by everyone bar the most hard-core Indian fans and the usual cluster of England-haters. It wasn’t a game of cricket so much as a bloodsport.

Composed: Alastair Cook made a half century in England's second innings

Composed: Alastair Cook made a half century in England's second innings

PICTURE DISPUTE:

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad 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.

And despite the calm that descended late in the day, there will be undoubtedly be more of it to come. That, at least, seemed to be the only sensible conclusion.

Kevin Pietersen did his best to disrupt the Indian spinners’ lengths by using his feet, but his approach felt haphazard. And with the men round the bat going nowhere in a hurry, it never seemed likely to shift them into the outfield, which would have opened up the gaps Pietersen craved.

Most disconcertingly of all was the curtain-rail shot that brought about his demise, reminiscent as it was of the worst of his travails against left-arm spin two years ago. Still, at least his dismissal silenced those who saw his return as a guarantee of English success. Cricket always has been a team game.

Making his mark: Nick Compton looked more comfortable in the second innings

Making his mark: Nick Compton looked more comfortable in the second innings

Ian Bell had what can only be described as a complete shocker. England were gently mocked by the Haryana off-spinner Jayant Yadav for leaving their crease a little too indiscriminately during the four-day practice match. It betrayed uncertainty, he felt. Unerringly, Bell proved his point by lifting his first ball straight to deepish mid-off.

It may have been the most witless moment of his career. Since he is missing the Mumbai Test to attend the birth of his child, the second innings here has suddenly assumed crucial proportions.

Matt Prior, as industrious a player of spin in this team, showed what was possible between lunch and tea, only to be forced into a big shot by a lack of partners. And the adhesiveness of the lower order put their top-order colleagues to shame.

With two days to go, England are still hot favourites to lose this game. But they must build on the platform set by Cook and Compton. Their earlier ineptitude has left them with no choice.

JP Duminy ruptures achilles tendon as South Africa take control of first Test in Brisbane

Duminy ruptures achilles in warm-down to mar South Africa's strong start to Australia tour

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UPDATED:

12:27 GMT, 9 November 2012

South Africa batsman JP Duminy could miss up to six months after rupturing an achilles tendon after the first day's play of the opening Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Duminy was taking part in warm-down exercises on the Gabba outfield when he fell to the turf clutching his left leg.

He was rushed to hospital where the severity of the injury was confirmed.

Blow: Duminy could be out for around six months

Blow: Duminy could be out for around six months

South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: 'At first assessment JP said he heard a loud clicking sound and it felt like he had been hit by an object.

'The diagnosis of an Achilles tendon rupture was confirmed by the MRI scan this evening and he will undergo surgery to re-attach the tendon on Saturday morning.

'Injuries of this nature are caused by a sudden contraction against the direction of movement by the calf muscle as was the case during his sprint.

'We will only be able to gauge further down the line on an expected recovery date, but injuries of this nature have been known to take up to six months before the player can resume playing cricket.

GABBA CURSE STRIKES AGAIN

This isn't the first time in recent years an international cricketer has succumbed to a serious injury on the Gabba outfield.

Back in the 2002 Ashes series, former England fast bowler Simon Jones ruptured his anterior cruciate ligaments sliding to field a ball.

Century stand: Kallis (above) and Amla (below) have put the tourists in control

Century stand: Kallis (above) and Amla (below) have put the tourists in control

Century stand: Kallis (above) and Amla (below) have put the tourists in control

'He is obviously disappointed, but JP, being JP, is trying his best to stay positive, he says everything happens for a reason.'

The Proteas' 12th man Francois du Plessis will field in Duminy's place in Brisbane but will not be able to bat.

A century partnership from Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis has put the Proteas firmly in control on 255 for two at the end of day one.

The early loss of captain Graeme Smith for 10 to a DRS lbw decision did not prove too much of a setback as Amla (90 not out) and Alviro Petersen (64) saw them through to lunch without further incident.

And when Petersen fell victim to the match's only specialist spinner, Nathan Lyon, Jacques Kallis (84 not out) picked up where he left off.

London 2012 Paralympics: Blind 5-a-side football begins at Riverbank

Quiet please for football in the library! Blind 5-a-side game kicks off at Paralympics

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UPDATED:

23:14 GMT, 31 August 2012

Just as an expletive-ridden roar of angst rose up from the Velodrome, there was church-service silence only a few hundred yards away at the Riverbank Arena.

And it came with a twist. Football, like no other sport, is played amid a feverish and often vitriolic atmosphere.

There are derisory chants from away supporters directed at home fans if there is even the hint of quiet.

Quiet please: The blind football teams need silence so they can hear the ball

Quiet please: The blind football teams need silence so they can hear the ball

But if you had sung: 'Is this a library' as the blind 5-a-side football tournament kicked off on Friday it would have acted more like a compliment.

Players require silence in order to hear the roll of the ball, which has metal discs in it, and listen to calls of the sighted goalkeepers and coaches behind the opposition goal.

Sitting amid 5,000 spectators with lips sealed was a peculiar experience but a most enjoyable one.

Each of the four outfield men were to varying degrees blind, wearing white masks to ensure fairness.

True, flowing moves were not a common feature, but when the ball was at a player's feet the dribbling control was immaculate.

Here we go: Team GB Dave Clarke sustained a bloody nose in their game against Spain

Here we go: Team GB Dave Clarke sustained a bloody nose in their game against Spain

Great Britain started their campaign against Spain around the same time Jody Cundy was swearing at the top of his lungs.

Captained by Dave Clarke, who has 126 goals in 139 internationals, with Britain looking to improve on a fifth-place finish in Beijing.

Spain opened the scoring with a penalty but Clarke delivered a response.

The quiet audience let out gasps of awe as the 41-year-old dribbled then shot on the turn to ripple the net.

127 not out. The match finished 1-1, a solid start. I met Clarke at the team's pre-Paralympic camp at Bath University.

He said he can visualise every inch of the pitch and each goal he scores.

He then motioned to a point 500 yards away 'I even know there is a van driving past over there,' he said. It was unnerving. With talent like that, Britain could go far.

Jack Wilshere training with Arsenal team-mates

Jack's recovery is smiles better! Podolski gives Wilshere helping hand back to fitness

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UPDATED:

12:41 GMT, 24 August 2012

Jack Wilshere was all smiles on Friday morning as he continued his recovery from knee and ankle surgery with an October comeback looking ever more likely.

The England midfielder hasn't played for more than a year after suffering a series of setbacks on the long road to recovery from an initial foot complaint.

Comeback soon, kid: Jack Wilshere was all smiles with Lukas Podolski as he continued his recovery from injury

Comeback soon, kid: Jack Wilshere was all smiles with Lukas Podolski as he continued his recovery from injury

However, as Arsenal geared up for what promises to be a stern test at Stoke on Sunday, the 20-year-old was seen laughing and joking with his team-mates.

Wilshere has missed so much action for the Gunners, that it is perectly feasible he could return to feature in a team with nine other outfield players together with whom he has never represented the club.

One of those, Lukas Podolski, looked in similarly high spirits as he joined fellow summer signings Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla for an open training session at Arsenal's base in London Colney.

Podolski also gave his seal of approval to Wilshere's new tracksuit, emblazoned with the No 10, which Wilshere will wear as soon as he returns to action having inherited it from Robin van Persie.

You're new in town: Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla continued to work closely with their new team-mates

You're new in town: Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla continued to work closely with their new team-mates

You're new in town: Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla continued to work closely with their new team-mates

Happy campers: The squad were full of life as they prepared for a tricky trip to Stoke on Sunday

Happy campers: The squad were full of life as they prepared for a tricky trip to Stoke on Sunday

England v South Africa: Day four washed out at Headingley

England hopes washed away against South Africa on day four at rain soaked Headingley

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UPDATED:

16:30 GMT, 5 August 2012

England's hopes of victory in the second Test with South Africa were washed away in the Yorkshire rain as day four at Headingley was blighted by heavy showers.

Kevin Pietersen, starting the day on 149, lasted just two deliveries before losing his wickets and with him went hopes of forging a commanding lead against the tourists.

Courtesy of a quick-fire 68 from Matt Prior, England took a six run lead into the second innings which lasted just 17 overs after rain returned.

The downpours flooded the outfield, giving match officials no option but to call off proceedings and with just a day remaining hopes of a result all but disappeared.

More to follow…

Under my umbrella: Weather spoiled proceedings at Headingley

Under my umbrella: Weather spoiled proceedings at Headingley

England v South Africa

Click here for full scorecard

Wet and wild: Thunder and lightning curtailed the action in the mornign session

Wet and wild: Thunder and lightning curtailed the action in the mornign session

Wet and wild: Thunder and lightning curtailed the action in the mornign session


Swept up: Tahir wrapped up the England innings, with South Africa trailing by just six runs

Swept up: Tahir wrapped up the England innings, with South Africa trailing by just six runs

In a spin: Tahir has been in the wickets for South Africa this morning

In a spin: Tahir has been in the wickets for South Africa this morning


Prior engagement: England's wicketkeeper has been mighty impressive with the batengage

Prior engagement: England's wicketkeeper has been mighty impressive with the bat


Early breakthrough: South Africa were delighted with the second-ball wicket, but have been made to graft since

Early breakthrough: South Africa were delighted with the second-ball wicket, but have been made to graft since

Out: Kevin Pietersen is trapped lbw by Morkel in the first over of the day at Headingley

Out: Kevin Pietersen is trapped lbw by Morkel in the first over of the day at Headingley

Barclays Premier League Under 21 competition confirmed

Radical youth shake-up revealed with new U21 Premier League set for big kick-off

23 teams confirmed to play in new style group phases before competition culminates in knock-out format

Regional games scrapped in favour of national mix

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UPDATED:

15:55 GMT, 3 August 2012

Up and away: West Ham, with starlet Daniel Potts, will launch the new tournament

Up and away: West Ham, with starlet Daniel Potts, will launch the new tournament

The Barclays Premier League have confirmed the creation of a new Under-21 competition to bridge the gap between the academy and first team.

The first national showcase for Under-21 players will launch on August 17 when Chelsea host Manchester City and Reading visit West Ham.

Teams from 17 Premier League and six npower Championship clubs – effectively all those who applied for category one status – will be divided into three groups.

From January the sides will then be placed into three pools based on their performance, leading to a knockout stage and final.

National Group 1 – eight teamsArsenalBlackburnBoltonEvertonNorwichReadingWest BromWest HamNational Group 2 – eight teamsAston VillaMan United NewcastleSouthamptonStokeSunderlandTottenhamWatfordNational Group 3 – seven teamsChelseaCrystal PalaceFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityMiddlesbroughWolves

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How it works

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Final countdown

The emphasis will be on playing Under-21 players with each team limited to just three over-age outfield players and one over-age goalkeeper.

'Each stage of a player's development is tailored to ensuring they have the best possible chance of progressing,' Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said.

'The new Barclays Under-21 Premier League addresses one of the most critical points – the transition from academy football to the highest standards in the first team.

'We believe this competitive environment, where fans can also come along to watch the next generation of Premier League and international players, will help deliver more talented home grown boys to that next level.'

Time to shine: Youngsters, like Arsenal's Chuks Aneke, will hope to push for a first-team place by impressing in the competition

Time to shine: Youngsters, like Arsenal's Chuks Aneke, will hope to push for a first-team place by impressing in the competition

Premier League Director of Youth, Ged Roddy, added: 'Much has been done across the game to modernise the youth system over the last three years.

'Clubs have consistently highlighted the need to create serious competitive games as part of the overall professional game in this country.

'The Barclays U21 Premier League aims to provide that vital transitional step and will become the hardest playground in the world as part of a player’s total education, because the next game may well be a debut in the Barclays Premier League itself.'

'The matches will be structured to complement the Premier League game rounds. So, as a first team manager there is a great benefit in knowing that you can have your U21 player on the bench for the first team, but if he doesn’t play then there’s still the option for him to have high quality competitive football that weekend in the U21 League.'

London 2012 Olympics: Team GB share spoils with South Africa

Great Britain 2 South Africa 2: Jackson at the double as Team GB leave it late

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UPDATED:

17:33 GMT, 1 August 2012

Great Britain's men escaped with a late draw against South Africa after it seemed they would pay dearly for not making the most of their early advantage.

Having taken the lead through Ashley Jackson's penalty corner, they were staring at a defeat two minutes from time only for the East Grinstead midfielder to pop up with the slightest of touches to equalise with his second of the match.

Even then it required a video review to ensure the 24-year-old had actually deflected in Richard Smith's driven cross.

Breakthrough: Ashley Jackson celebrates scoring Great Britain's opener against South Africa

Breakthrough: Ashley Jackson celebrates scoring Great Britain's opener against South Africa

While a point may be something of a disappointment against the lowest-ranked side in the tournament the fact they were able to snatch a draw – having briefly withdrawn goalkeeper James Fair in order to gain numerical outfield supremacy – was significant.

Captain Barry Middleton, on his 100th GB cap and 259th appearance overall, should have put away an early chance when he was played through by Rob Moore but he flicked wide.

Mob rule: Ashley Jackson is joined by his team-mates after scoring for Team GB against South Africa

Mob rule: Ashley Jackson is joined by his team-mates after scoring for Team GB against South Africa

Jackson made no mistake with a 14th-minute penalty corner, won by himself after a good run down the right.

Lloyd Norris-Jones missed a good opportunity to equalise but skewed wide while Jackson smashed a reverse-stick shot over from the top of the circle.

Close control: Nicholas Catlin tries to get away from the South Africa defence

Close control: Nicholas Catlin tries to get away from the South Africa defence

Jackson was in set-piece action again in the 28th minute when his flick was well tipped over by goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse but that was really the last of the action until the match entered the final 10 minutes when South Africa produced a five-minute double which stunned GB.

From their first corner of the game captain Austin Smith planted a low flick inside Fair's left-hand post before Jonathan Robinson fired home from the top of the circle after the defence was slow to close him down.

You don't stop them: Jonathan Robinson (right) hits the target for South Africa

You don't stop them: Jonathan Robinson (right) hits the target for South Africa

Jackson deflected a Middleton cross wide before coach Jason Lee took off Fair and sent on Beeston defender Ali Wilson as kicking back.

Within seconds GB grabbed their equaliser as Richard Smith fired in a cross from the left and Jackson popped up in front of his marker to get the minutest of touches, so negligible it was almost indecipherable on the television replay, to give the departing Riverbank Arena crowd a finale – if not a match – to remember.

London 2012 Olympics: Team GB women"s football lowdown by Faye White

Here come the girls: Former England captain Faye White's insight into Team GB

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UPDATED:

21:40 GMT, 24 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Karen Bardsley, goalkeeper

She’s very agile and confident. She gives you that presence behind the back line. She’s got experience, too — she’s played in America and Sweden. Goalkeeping has improved a lot in women’s football: sometimes we outfield players would get better coaching, but that’s not the case any more.

Casey Stoney, defender

I think she’s improved massively and she’s worked hard to get to where she is. She covers well, she’s got experience of playing left back and her reading of the game is very good. I’m sure she’ll be a manager or a coach one day. She’s learned to balance everyone’s views, which, as a captain, you have to do and not let it affect your game.

Ready for action: (left-right) Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Kim Little, Anita Asante

Ready for action: (left-right) Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Kim Little, Anita Asante

Alex Scott, defender

Alex is a very solid player. She’s hard to get round. She’s got a good engine — she’s good at getting up and down the field and overlapping. I think full back is her best position. Sometimes she plays as a winger but she doesn’t quite have that creativity in the final third, although she’s still a great competitor.

Kim Little, midfielder

Kim’s not massive but she’s quick and very mobile; a very creative player. Put her in front of goal and nine times out of 10 she’ll score. I hated marking her in training at Arsenal: she powers away from you over that first yard. The Games will be a great challenge for her, stepping up, and, with no disrespect to Scotland, seeing how she plays on the big stage with better players. I’m sure she’ll grab the opportunity.

On the big stage: Kim Little (right) has a chance to shine with Team GB

On the big stage: Kim Little (right) has a chance to shine with Team GB

Fara Williams, midfielder

She understands the game very well and has very good ability with both feet. Sometimes she can look to overplay the pass and go for an amazing ball when she needs to keep it simple, but if she’s on form she can be a very important part of this team.

Ellen White, forward

My namesake! I call her little sis. Her best assets are her attitude and work-rate, but she’s also shown that, on the big occasions with England, she can step up another level. She’s quick and intelligent with her runs. She’s savvy as well, filling in and playing in other positions, which some players can’t or won’t do.

Still got it: Kelly Smith is a veteran now but is still the star player

Still got it: Kelly Smith is a veteran now but is still the star player

Kelly Smith, forward

Kelly has been injured, but she’s the only player you would still pick, because she’s that good. Her low level is everyone else’s normal level and this could be her last tournament. Her vision is unbelievable — I’ve seen her bring down a goal kick and score a volley from practically the halfway line.