Tag Archives: soil

Amir Khan will fight in Britain for first time in two years against Julio Diaz

Khan will fight on British soil for first time in two years when he takes on Diaz

Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo and Khan's brother Haroon making their professional debuts on the undercard.

Nadal plans to make return on South American soil at the VTR Open in Chile

Nadal's comeback is hotting up as he plans a return in Chile

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

16:44 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 17 January 2013

Rafael Nadal will return next month at the VTR Open in Chile.

The competition starts on February 4 and will be the first tournament the world No 4 has competed in since Wimbledon, where he was knocked out in the second round by the relative unknown Lukas Rosol.

Since then Nadal has been recovering from a knee injury.

On the way back: Nadal made it to the final in last year's Australian Open, but has been out injured since last June

On the way back: Nadal made it to the final in last year's Australian Open, but has been out injured since last June

He was supposed to return to action
earlier this month but was sidelined by a stomach virus and forced to
wait another few weeks.

It will be the first time Nadal has
played on South American soil since 2005 and no doubt the 11-time Grand
Slam winner is itching to get back on the court, having posted numerous
updates and photos of his recovery on his Facebook page.

Paul Elliot to become football"s first black chairman at Charlton

Charlton target Elliot to become English football's first black chairman

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UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 9 November 2012

Paul Elliot is poised to become football's first black chairman at Charlton Athletic.

The former Chelsea, Celtic and Addicks defender has agreed a deal in principle, but is yet to finalise financial terms with the south London club.

Elliot will link-up with Chris Powell – one of the few black managers in the game – at his boyhood club.

Trailblazer: Elliot could make history if he makes the move to Charlton

Trailblazer: Elliot could make history if he makes the move to Charlton

He told The Mirror: 'I'm very flattered to be associated with the club in this way – and we'll see how it turns out very soon.

'I have a long historical association with that club.

'I was born and grew up in the area, started my career there and my family still live there.

'I’m very flattered to be associated with the club in this way – and we’ll see how it turns out very soon.'

Home soil: Elliot could be heading back to The Valley

Home soil: Elliot could be heading back to The Valley

Bradley Wiggins to race in Tour of Britain

Olympic champion Wiggins to return to action on home soil in Tour of Britain

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UPDATED:

09:25 GMT, 19 August 2012

Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins has announced he will compete in next month's Tour of Britain.

The 32-year-old has been given extra time off by Team Sky following his hugely successful summer and is not participating in the Tour of Denmark next week.

His return to competitive action is now set to come on home soil in the eight-stage event which begins in Ipswich on September 9.

Main man: Bradley Wiggins has enjoyed a stunning summer so far

Main man: Bradley Wiggins has enjoyed a stunning summer so far

Wiggins made the announcement as he launched the inaugural 'Ride with Brad' mass participation public cycling event in Barnoldswick, Lancashire.

When asked what his next plans were, Wiggins said: 'I'm doing the Tour of Britain now.

'It'll be nice. I'll try to stay fit between now and then so I don't embarrass myself! It'll be good.'

Paul Gascoigne recreates famous pose ahead of Euro 2012

Come on England! Legend Gazza urges Roy's boys to create their own Euro history

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UPDATED:

14:51 GMT, 25 May 2012

Now here's a man that needs no introduction.

If you're old enough to remember the summer of 1990, close your eyes for a moment and let the images flood back once more.

Nessun Dorma, Jackie Charlton, Des Lynam, Toto Schillaci, those penalties. And yes, this man. One Paul Gascoigne.

Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne wears the England home shirt as he reveals a billboard of himself to launch Umbro's 'Faces of England' campaign, in central London

England fans have known plenty of melodrama over the years, but few campaigns compare to 1990 when it comes to pure theatre. And Gascoigne's booking, and subsequent tears, during the semi-final against West Germany is the stuff of folklore.

Plenty more years followed for Gascoigne in an England shirt, with his most famous tournament performance after 1990 coming on home soil at Euro 96, where that iconic goal against Scotland, and agonising near miss against Germany, provided indelible images.

Memories are made of this: Gascoigne in tears after the 1990 World Cup semi-final (above) and scoring his brilliant goal against Scotland at Euro 96 (below)

Memories are made of this: Gascoigne in tears after the 1990 World Cup semi-final (above) and scoring his brilliant goal against Scotland at Euro 96 (below)

Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne

And now the man universally known as Gazza, who celebrates his 45th birthday on Sunday, has unveiled some new images.

Many people will remember that the 'tongue out' pose was one that Gascoigne became known for in his playing days, including before that titanic 1990 World Cup semi-final against the Germans.

And as the nation prepares for another rollercoaster ride at Euro 2012, Gascoigne has been reflecting on the honour of playing for his country.

'It brings a lump to my throat when I think about how proud I am to have played for my country,' he said.

'There’s nothing better than representing England – the buzz of the crowd and feeling the support of the whole country.

Paul Gascoigne

'Wearing the shirt again has brought back many happy memories and seeing myself on display in the capital, being celebrated as an icon of England is truly an honour.

'I bumped into Colin Hendry recently and it (the game against Scotland) felt like only yesterday that I left him on the turf at Wembley. We delivered in style that day and I wish the current squad all the best this summer and hope they wear the shirt with pride.'

As Roy Hodgson leads England to Euro 2012, few supporters will need reminding that the country's only success on the international stage came 46 years ago.

England's opening game of the tournament is against France on June 11, with further group games to come against Sweden and Ukraine.

Gazza is taking part in Umbro's 'Faces of England' campaign.
For more information, go to: www.umbro.com/facesofengland

Jessica Ennis is not fat, says coach

Ennis is not fat! Coach hits out at UK official who criticised golden girl

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UPDATED:

23:42 GMT, 24 May 2012

Top condition: Jessica Ennis

Top condition: Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis' coach Toni Minichiello has hit out at a top UK Athletics official over a 'fat' jibe.

Minichiello, who has coached the heptathlete since she was 11 years old, revealed that a 'high‑ranking person' had suggested 'that she's fat and she's got too much weight'.

Minichiello dismissed the criticism, and added that both Ennis' weight and body fat percentage had remained constant in recent times.

He told The Guardian that 'people in fairly high positions, who should know better' were guilty of adding to a slew of unwanted distractions, although he admitted that the people in question were 'trying to be helpful'.

Minichiello said Ennis is a class act whose consistency will pay dividends at the Olympics.

But Minichiello also concedes a gold medal in the heptathlon could still be beyond his athlete's control over the two days of competition in London.

Ennis was a hot favourite for gold on home soil after winning world titles indoor and out in Berlin and Doha respectively and following that with another triumph at the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010.

However, she has since lost both world titles in the space of seven months after inspired performances from two of her rivals, a situation which does give Minichiello pause for thought, despite his faith in Ennis' abilities.

Class act: Ennis (centre)

Class act: Ennis (centre)

'She is a class act,' Minichiello said. 'Every championships she has been to since 2009 she has been on the podium.

'She has been on podiums and showing an upward profile and I think we are continuing to do that. I'm pleased with the progress we are making, but in the back of my mind you can't legislate for what others do.

'She was in great shape in Istanbul (for the world indoors in March) but suddenly Nataliya Dobrynska breaks the world record.

'That's what Olympic year does. It goes steady and then there is this huge hike because people start to buzz. They think “This is the winter I need to get serious, this is the winter I need to train,” and I think we've seen that from the indoors.

'We have seen improvements in some of our first-day events in the shot, the hurdles and an indoor PB (personal best) of 6.47 metres in the long jump and I am hoping there is going to be a bit of improvement across the board.

'Whether that's going to be good enough I really, really don't know. She could score 6,900 points, which would be a British record and massive PB, and still finish second or third.

Golden girl: Ennis will have great hopes

Golden girl: Ennis will have great hopes

'There is nothing you can do about the opposition. They will do what they do and improve how they improve.'

Ennis will contest her only full heptathlon before London at this weekend's Hypo Meeting in Gotzis, where she is seeking a third straight win.

And with the 26-year-old's main rivals for Olympic glory also on the start line in Austria, Minichiello admits the result on Sunday will be significant.

'Gotzis is much closer to the Olympics than it has been to the major championships before because there is only about 11 weeks left, so your performance there is important,' he added.

'I think normally what happens is that whoever is in the top three or four there is going to be the top three or four in the Olympics.

'A win in Gotzis doesn't naturally mean you're going to win (the following major championship) as you saw last year, but if Jess wins this year though it does mean she's going to win!'

Stuart Broad: Last time our hard work was tainted but that won"t distract us

Last time our hard work was tainted but we won't let that distract us

The early days on tour

It's been really good. We’ve put in a lot of hard work after our break and made sure we’ve got the intensity right. We’ve put in the overs in the field and probably the only other thing we could have wished for is a bit more time in the middle for a couple of our batsmen.

But, bowling-wise, everyone looks in pretty good form going into Tuesday’s first Test. I managed to hit the ball into my ankle batting on Sunday after Jimmy Anderson got me with an inswinging yorker. But there is just a bit of bruising and I will be fine.

Broad ambition: Stuart is expecting to be fit to play in the first Test

Broad ambition: Stuart is expecting to be fit to play in the first Test

This could well be an attritional Test series but, mentally and skills-wise, we’re prepared for that.

Pitch battle

I’ve seen that the soil in the pitches here comes from Pakistan and we are expecting them to be flat and slow. We’ll have to use the new ball well.

We’re anticipating fielding for 90 overs and getting four, five or six wickets a day. Within that we don’t want to go for more than two or three runs an over and that’s where we’ll build the pressure.

The serious business

We all know what happened the last time we played Pakistan. A win at Lord’s, one of the highlights of any cricketer’s career, was turned into a very sour occasion.

We are staying in the same hotel here as their team and we will say hello if we bump into them. Nobody will start any problems but people are still a little hurt by it all so we want to get the job done here.

We never want to see what happened in 2010 repeated so it’s inevitable there will be some negative feelings. That summer’s cricket and our hard work was tainted but having those sort of feelings will not distract us from the job in hand.

Tainted: Broad passed 150 in the controversial fourth Test at Lord's in 2010

Tainted: Broad passed 150 in the controversial fourth Test at Lord's in 2010

As Andrew Strauss said to us, there doesn’t seem to have ever been a series between England and Pakistan without some flashpoint. I only have to look back at my old man not walking against them (in Lahore in 1987, left).

There is history between the sides but it’s important we as players don’t get caught up in that. We just have to focus on what we do without taking away our aggressive approach.

Back in the wickets

To take seven wickets in the first three-day game on my return after injury was satisfying. I bowled the same sort of lengths as I did against India to try to draw the batsmen forward and get them nicking balls in the danger area. That’s the length I’ll be looking to replicate from now on.

You have to remember on these slower wickets, though, the bouncer can still be hard to play. If you dig it in batsmen are not sure whether to get under it or play it so it can be a useful weapon if used sparingly.

Reverse swing will be a huge factor and we’ve come a long way with that as a team over the last couple of years. Sydney was a big example of that and it’s something we’ll have to use over here.

Seventh heaven: Broad was in the wickets in the first warm-up match

Seventh heaven: Broad was in the wickets in the first warm-up match

There’s no magical mystery about it. If you watch us closely you’ll see the ball just goes through two pairs of hands on its way back to the bowler and one of those pairs belongs to Alastair Cook, who doesn’t sweat. So there’s no moisture on the ball and it naturally roughs up on one side while we keep the other one shiny.

We’re strict on everyone having to hold the ball just by the seam if it comes to you in the field.

One down already

It was a great shame seeing Tim Bresnan go home because he gives us so many good options. He was unfortunate in that he landed awkwardly on his elbow in an early fielding practice and it blew up like a balloon.

This Test series is crammed into such a short space of time that it ruled him out of the whole series. He’ll probably be fit by the third Test but he won’t have had any bowling so the decision was made to get him back home and ready for the one-day series.

He’s got a two-week injury, basically. The upside is that Graham Onions is here after a serious back injury. To see someone who has gone through all that, here and bowling for England again, is very encouraging.

Back in action: Onions has returned to the England fold

Back in action: Onions has returned to the England fold

Playing in the desert

I’ve been to Dubai quite a bit and we’ve been made very welcome here. The facilities are excellent. The nature of modern touring is that we don’t get much time off and we’ve been very much concentrating on business but a few of the management staff, led by the intrepid Bruce French, took the opportunity to go skiing on the indoor slope here. Real snow under a roof!

I hope a lot of the Barmy Army come out here for this series because there are a lot of things for them to do but my gut feeling is that they will save their money for Sri Lanka.

KP counting the cost

Forget my seven wickets. Forget even the two victories in the warm-up games. I’m not going to lie to you, the highlight of the tour so far was Kevin Pietersen losing credit card roulette.

We were in the very posh Ivy restaurant, sister of the London one, and it seemed quite exclusive with lots of couples there dining. So, of course, it was Graeme Swann’s idea to play our occasional game where we all put our cards in a napkin at the end of the meal and ask a waitress or waiter to pull them out and eliminate someone one by one. Last one in pays the whole bill.

Short straw: Kevin Pietersen had to pick up an expensive bill

Short straw: Kevin Pietersen had to pick up an expensive bill

There were 12 of us in on it and it wasn’t cheap. Jonathan Trott was the first out and there was a big boo because he didn’t want to pay and the boys fancied him for it. I was left in the last four so I was getting nervous but I survived and the last two were Graham Gooch, on his debut, and KP.

Nobody wanted Goochy to lose and when his card was pulled out the restaurant turned into a student union bar. People were running off as if they’d scored a goal at Wembley, everyone was cheering and even the couples who had been enjoying a quiet meal joined in the celebrations with us. It was like getting Ricky Ponting out in the Ashes. Kevin was properly hurting and went straight to bed sulking…

The new frontier

We are aware this isn’t going to be a series where we can expect to bowl Pakistan out for 150 then rack up 400. We have had some wonderful moments over the last couple of years but it’s important the public perception of this series isn’t that England will win 3-0.

Pakistan will be difficult to beat on what really is their home soil and we know as a bowling unit we will have to sit in then seize our chance if it presents itself. It is going to be a challenge.