Tag Archives: pollard

World Twenty20 2012: Steven Finn issues Chris Gayle warning

Fiery Finn issues Gayle warning ahead of Super Eights opener against West Indies

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 25 September 2012

Upbeat: Finn is confident England can turn things around

Upbeat: Finn is confident England can turn things around

England headed to the hills on Tuesday, where they pledged to go on the attack when they come face to face with Twenty20’s biggest gun.

The long bus ride from Colombo to the picturesque city of Kandy was followed by a declaration of intent for their opening Super Eights match against West Indies at nearby Pallekele on Thursday.

Chris Gayle will spearhead a West Indies line-up brimful of big-hitting batsmen but England believe they have the firepower to cut him down, as they did when they last met in a Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge last summer.

Steven Finn dismissed Gayle for two then
as England won by seven wickets, the sort of result which would take
them halfway to the semi-finals if they can repeat it on Thursday.

‘Gayle has an aura about him and it’s
exciting to come up against people like that,’ said Finn. ‘It will be a
challenge bowling at one of the best Twenty20 batsmen in the world but
it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.’

England will approach that challenge by attempting to make early inroads into a West Indies line-up which also includes plenty of others capable of clearing the boundary, such as Kieron Pollard.

Dangerman: Gayle (left) will open the batting for West Indies

Dangerman: Gayle (left) will open the batting for West Indies

‘It’s going to be up to me to set the tone against Gayle,’ said Finn. ‘My job with the new ball is to put the opposition under pressure by taking early wickets because that stalls any momentum.’

There was a confident and relaxed mood about England on Tuesday, at odds with their inept display against India on Sunday.

They believe the switch to what is likely to be a pitch with more pace at Pallekele will suit them in a group which also includes New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Finn was on good form despite enduring a tortuous road trip here.

Confident: England feel that the Pallekele pitch will suit them

Confident: England feel that the Pallekele pitch will suit them

‘Four-hour bus journey has made me feel like I have bowled 30 overs,’ he tweeted.

There was an immediate riposte from his erstwhile team-mate and current TV pundit Kevin Pietersen, who displayed his confidence that he is close to an England comeback by replying: ‘You went on a bus Findog You should have asked and I would have got you the heli we use for our transport. Next time…’

Pietersen has not spoken to many of the England team since his exile began nearly two months ago but taking the mickey is a start.

London 2012 Paralympics: Official who disqualified Jody Cundy has no regrets

No regrets! Official who disqualified raging Cundy in velodrome stands by controversial call

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UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 31 August 2012

The man who broke Jody Cundy's heart and triggered an expletive-ridden rant from the cyclist says he has never seen a reaction like it – but stands by his call.

Philip Pollard, who is British, was the official standing feet away from the start gate when Cundy slid down the track instead of speeding away.

And another thing: Jody Cundy remonstrates with the officials after learning of the bad news

And another thing: Jody Cundy remonstrates with the officials after learning of the bad news

He ruled the fault was caused by the
rider rather than a mechanical error. Cundy, a 33-year-old multiple
Paralympic champion who was expected to break his C4 world record for
the 1km time trial and win gold in the combined C4-C5 class, was
disqualified.

Pollard told Sportsmail: 'I've never
seen a reaction like it. I was standing right there. There was no
mechanical fault. For whatever reason his back wheel spun and he went
off the track.'

As the decision was announced to the
6,000 spectators there were loud boos and Cundy exploded with rage in
the centre of the track.

'I fell out of the gate because the f****** gate didn't open,' he shouted.

'I've wasted four years of my life
to ride in front of 6,000 people. Do you know what it's like to dedicate
four years of your life

'I can't even express it, there
aren't the f****** words. I'll never ever get this opportunity again,
never, ever. What am I supposed to do now'

Head in hands: The news of the disqualification reaches Cundy at trackside

Head in hands: The news of the disqualification reaches Cundy at trackside

Kicking off: Cundy slams a water bottle to the floor

Kicking off: Cundy slams a water bottle to the floor

Cundy was seen making offensive hand
gestures and at one point was held back from confronting Pollard by
Great Britain coaching staff, for which he later apologised.

Asked about denying a fellow Brit
the chance of gold, Pollard said: 'I'm not bothered. They are the rules
and we have to apply them.'

He said, after the Philip Hindes
incident at the Olympics, where the British cyclist deliberately crashed
to earn a restart after getting out of the blocks poorly during the
team sprint, the sport's governing body, the UCI, were examining the
rules governing starts.

Despite Spain's Alfonso Cabello
setting a world record for C5 of 1min 05.947sec, Cundy knew, going last,
that his best would give him a seventh Paralympic gold.

But he slipped out of the start and put his hand up to signal a malfunction.

GB lead coach Chris Furber said: 'I
felt the gates didn't release properly. It held him and that's what made
him turn down the track.'

Jon-Allan Butterworth, the former RAF
serviceman who turned to cycling after losing his left arm in a rocket
attack in Iraq, claimed silver in a personal best time.

Fury: The British rider gesticulates at the officials who disqualified him

Fury: The British rider gesticulates at the officials who disqualified him

In the blocks: Cundy, the last rider to go, gets ready for his 1km against the clock

In the blocks: Cundy, the last rider to go, gets ready for his 1km against the clock

False start: But his back wheel slipped as he was released from the starting block

False start: But his back wheel slipped as he was released from the starting block

London 2012 Olympics: Backing David Beckham makes you a loser too – Des Kelly

Pearce got it right, and backing Beckham makes you a loser too!

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UPDATED:

09:00 GMT, 30 June 2012

'OMG! This is, like, so unfair. Stuart dumped David even though he has the 'Lympic torch and was told he could, like, go backstage and meet JLS and Camilla and ev'ryfing.

'And we know Stuart's only giving David evils 'cos Gary is best mates with David, and Stuart went round saying he was a real slag and got back at Gary by leaving David out of his gang even though he done nuffin.

Out: David Beckham did not make Stuart Pearce's Olympic squad

Out: David Beckham did not make Stuart Pearce's Olympic squad

That's what happened. It's true! I swear on Duncan from Blue's life!'

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode of the Goldenballs soap opera, a never-ending saga of mind-numbing celebrity tedium, where sport is reduced to Vicky Pollard soundbites, a paparazzi circus and the only 'reality' ever on view is of the Big Brother variety.

David Beckham's perfectly justifiable omission from the Team GB Olympic football team was followed by a storm of outraged squeals and squawks as iPhone warriors voiced their protest on Twitter that the decision was a load of Hollyoaks. Ronan Keating didn't like it, which was devastating news for us all.

John Prescott was unhappy.

A chubby comic (no not Prescott, someone else) said it was 'disrespectful'. And Danny Cipriani accused Pearce of 'trying to make a name for himself'.

Yes, that Danny Cipriani: the rugby player who collected the last of his seven England caps four years ago and has been busy trying to flush his career down the toilet ever since.

Dejected: Beckham plies his trade for MLS side LA Galaxy

Dejected: Beckham plies his trade for MLS side LA Galaxy

But here he was criticising Pearce, capped 78 times for England, a former Manchester City manager, England caretaker boss, the current England Under 21 manager and coach of Team GB for 'trying to make a name for himself'.

Various Heat magazine readers at the local hairdressing salon added to the din, with most complaints focusing on whether they might be denied their quota of advertisements picturing Becks in his underpants.

Inevitably, Robbie Savage stepped into the world of vacuous celebrity hype, to announce on the television news that he was 'appalled' by what has happened to Beckham.

Appalled Now I'm appalled by the culture of fraud in the banking world. I'm appalled by the brutal suppression of the people in Syria.

But when it comes to Beckham not making a football squad, let's just say I think we'll all get over it.

Spectator: Beckham will have to watch Team GB from the stands

Spectator: Beckham will have to watch Team GB from the stands

What was genuinely irritating was reading people who actually know something about football giving credence to the idea that Pearce had omitted Beckham due to a grudge against Gary Neville, England's recently recruited assistant manager.

The 'logic', such as it was, claimed Neville and Beckham are old friends. Neville was recently installed as Roy Hodgson's assistant in the England camp, thereby edging caretaker boss Pearce out the door.

So Pearce's 'revenge' was to remove Beckham from the Olympics.

In: Beckham's former team-mate Ryan Giggs was chosen instead

In: Beckham's former team-mate Ryan Giggs was chosen instead

I have to stop here for a moment. As a direct consequence of writing that previous paragraph, a few hundred of my brain cells have decided to commit suicide and the fingers of my left hand have stopped working.

That's how stupid the theory is.

Of course, this didn't stop people who have done little else but slag Beckham off for years pulling a handbrake turn and denouncing Pearce for being out of step with 'the national mood', as if that were ever the measure for any team selection.

Others mocked the idea Pearce left Beckham out for 'football reasons'.

But while there are many motives why Beckham could warrant inclusion in the Olympic squad, unfortunately none of them have anything to do with football.

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He sells tickets, he sells shirts, he looks nice on TV, your granny knows his name, he carried the torch, he was in Singapore when the bid was won, he kicked a ball off a double-decker bus during the closing ceremony at the Beijing Games, his sponsors are involved, he has a nice smile.

And that's it. If we are to accept football as an Olympic sport (and it really shouldn't be) then we should treat it as more than some glorified testimonial.

We should aim to win a gold medal, especially as it is on home soil. Beckham did not 'deserve' a place in Team GB.

It was not his right to appear at London 2012 just because he helped push the Games bid.

Obviously, I feel some sympathy for him. There is barely a soul in the media world that didn't think he would be wheeled into the 2012 hoopla.

He obviously wanted to take part, too. No doubt he had a new haircut planned; an Olympic tattoo, once they found a space for it.

And, yes, he was once a fabulous player and has dutifully popped up at various 2012 functions over the last few years. But an Olympic place is not a gift-wrapped thank-you gift. It is not a reward for being involved.

You too: Craig Bellamy (left) also got the nod above Beckham

You too: Craig Bellamy (left) also got the nod above Beckham

More from Des Kelly…

Des Kelly: A victory made only in England
22/06/12

Des Kelly: The FA forced Levy to do the dirty on Harry… and Redknapp deserved better
15/06/12

Des Kelly: England don't stand a chance, right So just enjoy Euro 2012
08/06/12

Des Kelly: One great big football family Not when bigots rule it…
25/05/12

Des Kelly: This Anfield farce is like a reality show… welcome to Kop Idol!
18/05/12

Des Kelly: Enjoy the big finish, this could be as good as it gets…
11/05/12

Des Kelly: Roy's good for more than hotel bookings
04/05/12

Des Kelly: Torture by TV for the duelling duo
27/04/12

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I'm astonished there are sensible people out there who still actually believe it should be. Shaking hands and holding up a flaming torch is all well and good.

Being part of the team that won the Games in Singapore seven years (yes count 'em, seven) ago was noble at the time.

But if Beckham warrants a place for his ambassadorial contributions, then let's stick Princess Anne in goal and put Tessa Jowell at centre half and have done with it.

We can hand Lord Coe a place in the 800m, ask Denise Lewis to pull the spikes back on for the heptathlon and push Sir Steve Redgrave towards a boat and send him downstream for one last time.

Sport is a meritocracy. The players are not selected on sentiment or on popularity.

The Olympics is not some bogus charity gig like Soccer Aid . I t' s a competition. Pearce did not 'snub' Beckham, either. That is more tosh.

He flew to California, watched Beckham play on three occasions, decided he could be in contention for a place and named him in his extended squad.

But when it came down to selecting his three 'over-age' players as the rules dictate, once he chose Micah Richards at the back and Craig Bellamy up front, it left a straight call between Ryan Giggs and Beckham in midfield.

There can only be one winner here. Giggs is playing at Manchester United in the most competitive league in the world; he has had a fine season and remains at the top of his trade.

Beckham has been playing over in the United States for the past five years at a level that is comparable with being at Derby or Huddersfield.

Moreover, Giggs has never played at a World Cup finals or European Championship. He deserves this stage – not on sentiment, but through sporting justice.

Involved: Beckham (right) has been involved in the organisation of the Games, pictured in 2010 with Sebastian Coe

Involved: Beckham (right) has been involved in the organisation of the Games, pictured in 2010 with Sebastian Coe

Pearce took flak for picking Richards, but he is a title-winner and a player he has known through the England Under 21s and at City.

Pearce set aside Richards's disagreements with Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson for the same 'football reasons' people choose to ignore when it suits them.

So Beckham misses out on merit. Sport is not a public relations exercise. The best should compete.

As I have said on this page previously, it should not be a contest where the level of celebrity is any measure. But people are blinded by fame and dazzled by the flashbulbs.

Just look at one of the 2012 Olympic promotional films. In it, they had Beckham sitting at a table completing a newspaper crossword.

If you didn't do a double take when you saw that, then I'm afraid you really have been suckered by hype.

Best to be third

After Cristiano Ronaldo stood like a spare part during the semi-final shootout against Spain, the debate was about whether a team's best penalty-taker should go first or last.

The answer is neither. They should always take the third kick.

This is the point where the balance of any sudden death contest usually tips.

It is also the first moment any team can be eliminated from a contest. Now all someone has to do is convince the egotistical Ronaldo that third really is best.

Spare part: Cristiano Ronaldo did not take a penalty when Portugal were knocked out by Spain

Spare part: Cristiano Ronaldo did not take a penalty when Portugal were knocked out by Spain

Ta for that, Yak

Backhanded compliment of the week: striker Yakubu joins Chinese club Guangzhou from Blackburn Rovers and announces: 'I thank Blackburn Rovers, the fans and fellow players for making my one season there seem like a decade.'

Steady on. For the fans, it's more like a life sentence.

Saudi shame over women

If you want to get really angry about something at the Olympics, try this: Saudi Arabia will compete at the London Games next month without a single female athlete in the team.

They have never sent one. Brunei and Qatar will dispatch women team members for the first time at London 2012, but the Saudis still stand alone.

No show: Dalma Malhas was set to be the only female Saudi representative at the Olympics but will no longer compete

No show: Dalma Malhas was set to be the only female Saudi representative at the Olympics but will no longer compete

Encouraging female athletes would fly in the face of Wahhabi Islamic teaching that forbids women from driving or appearing in public without a chaperone.

A story was put out that Dalma Malhas, a 20-year-old equestrian, would be the Saudis' first female Olympian, but now she is 'ineligible' after her horse was somehow injured.

If a nation's population were 50 per cent black and banned from competing at the Games, the country would be treated as a pariah.

So why is it any different for women and Saudi Arabia

Chris Gayle to face England for West Indies

Gayle to make welcome return for West Indies in one-day series against England

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UPDATED:

23:59 GMT, 4 June 2012

Chris Gayle will make his long-awaited return to international cricket after he was named in West Indies’ 15-man squad for the one-day series against England.

The explosive Jamaican opening batsman has not played for West Indies since March 2011 after he fell out with the West Indies Cricket Board following critical remarks about the region’s administrators in a radio interview.

Big hitter: Chris Gayle will return to the West Indies side to face England

Big hitter: Chris Gayle will return to the West Indies side to face England

Gayle has since travelled the world playing in a variety of domestic Twenty20 tournaments, and was recently the leading runscorer in the Indian Premier League.

Also included in the squad for the three-match one-day series are all-rounders Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, who are all available for selection once more following their participation in the IPL. ends

West Indies weakened by wealth of IPL: Nasser Hussain

Sadly, the West Indies have been weakened by wealth of IPL

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 16 May 2012

You've got to feel a bit sorry for West Indies. When the first Test starts at Lord's today against an England side in their own conditions and ranked No 1 in the world, they'll be doing so with one hand tied behind their back.

Several guys who could be here – the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell – are all busy in the Indian Premier League, while Ramnaresh Sarwan appears to have fallen out with the West Indian board.

That's four or five players who could make a serious difference.

Hamstrung: Sammy has his work cut out if he is to win the series

Hamstrung: Sammy has his work cut out if he is to win the series

I appreciate that captain Darren Sammy and coach Ottis Gibson are making the most out of limited resources. But the fact that the West Indies Cricket Board are struggling financially means they are always going to lose players to the IPL.

It's sad for them and it's sad for the world game. As a captain, though, I wonder how much sympathy you'd have for guys who are happy to cash in elsewhere rather than play Test cricket.

Sure, you can't necessarily blame the likes of Gayle and Kieron Pollard for going to the IPL. But if you're looking to build a side who are willing to do the hard yards, you're looking for guys who put West Indies cricket first and buy into what the coach and captain are trying to do.

If they refuse to buy into that, then they're clearly not the sort of characters you want. But if they're willing to listen, then it comes down to a question of man-management. And that's what worries me slightly.

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

There's talk of a breakdown in relations between Gibson and some of the players who aren't in this squad. But, for me, part of the art of being a captain or a coach is to accommodate as much talent as you can, regardless of whether they are difficult customers.

People have been talking about a revival, but let's be honest here. Two wins in 30 Tests since they skittled England in Jamaica three years ago is a very limited sort of revival.

It's true that, in the right conditions, their bowling attack can be handy. But with their batsmen, you always feel a collapse is just round the corner. And that's why England are red-hot favourites.

Andrew Strauss will be saying to his team that a breakthrough is never far away. And he'll point out that West Indies rarely manage to string two substantial innings together in the same game.

There is some serious talent in this West Indies squad. Shivnarine Chanderpaul will bat all day, and Darren Bravo has got all the shots. But they've got to learn how to string it all together over five days of a Test. If they don't, England will be licking their lips.

Final preparations: The Windies squad were at Lord's on Wednesday

Final preparations: The Windies squad were at Lord's on Wednesday

West indies square one-day series

Windies square one-day series with five-wicket win over Australia

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 18 March 2012

Kieron Pollard's unbeaten 47 anchored
the West Indies to a five-wicket victory over Australia in Sunday's
second one-day international in Kingstown, St Vincent.

Chasing a Duckworth-Lewis-revised
victory target of 158 after rain reduced the match to 40 overs a side,
the hosts rattled off the required runs with 10 balls to spare.

All smiles: Dwayne Bravo (left) and Kieron Pollard celebrate victory

All smiles: Dwayne Bravo (left) and Kieron Pollard celebrate victory

Pollard's 61-ball stint was highlighted by four sixes, but it was a maximum by Carlton Baugh (18 not out) that got the West Indies over the line for a victory that levels the five-match series at 1-1.

The West Indies' first ODI victory over Australia in more than five years looked a long way from being realised early in their reply when Kieran Powell was removed for no score, trapped lbw to Brett Lee's first ball of the innings.

Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels settled any early nerves as they took the hosts' score out to beyond 40 before the latter was bowled between bat and pad by Australia skipper Shane Watson on 20, while Charles followed a short time later, run out on 26 while attempting a second run.

Unbeaten: Kieron Pollard was a thorn in Australia's side

Unbeaten: Kieron Pollard was a thorn in Australia's side

Darren Bravo added 16 runs before he was removed by Xavier Doherty, leaving Dwayne Bravo (30) and Pollard to take the score beyond 100 and bring victory into the Windies' sights.

Dwayne Bravo fell to a run out in the 34th over as he attempted a single, yet with his demise came the arrival of Baugh, who combined with the assured Pollard to comfortably ease the hosts to victory.

Earlier, Sunil Narine claimed four wickets in a man-of-the-match performance as the West Indies restricted the tourists to 154 for nine before that figure was revised up on the Duckworth-Lewis.

Narine stole the show with four for 27 while Kemar Roach added two for 23.

David Hussey's 37 was the best Australia's batsmen had to offer.

The hosts made an early breakthrough with Roach bowling opener David Warner for just 13.

Roach struck again four balls later to end Peter Forrest's stay without adding to the score, the 26-year-old edging to Windies captain Darren Sammy at second slip.

Watson was on 25 when he fell to a Sammy delivery, leaving Australia struggling on 46 for three.

Take that: Australia's opener David Warner drives as wicket keeper Carlton Baugh looks on

Take that: Australia's opener David Warner drives as wicket keeper Carlton Baugh looks on

Mike Hussey tried to get the tourists' innings going but was deceived by a quick ball from Narine on 24 which he flicked behind to wicket-keeper Baugh.

Dwayne Bravo got in on the wickets, removing George Bailey on 21, before Daniel Christian was run out for six following a mix-up with David Hussey. Matthew Wade (three) then came unstuck at the hands of Narine, before the off-spinner ended David Hussey's resistance and dismissed Clint McKay for six.