Tag Archives: spectators

Louis Oosthuizen hits 500-yard tee-shot at Ballantine"s Championship

Happy Gilmore! Oosthuizen hits 500-yard tee-shot but can only manage par as the ball takes a long stroll down country path

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

11:24 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:02 GMT, 26 April 2013

DM.has('shareLink', 'shareLinks',
'id': '2315184',
'title': 'Happy Gilmore! Oosthuizen hits 500-yard tee-shot but can only manage par',
'url': 'http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-2315184/Louis-Oosthuizen-hits-500-yard-tee-shot-Ballantines-Championship.html',
'eTwitterStatus': 'Louis%20Oosthuizen%20hits%20500-yard%20tee-shot%20at%20Ballantine's%20Championship%20http://bit.ly/15LPBfY%20via%[email protected]'
);

Louis Oosthuizen already averages more than 300 yards per drive on the European Tour this season, but not usually in the manner he did in the Ballantine's Championship today.

Oosthuizen's tee-shot on the 583-yard first hole at Blackstone Golf Club was pushed right of the fairway and bounced onto a winding cart path running down the side of the hole.

Scroll down for video

Big hitter: Oosthuizen regularly hits over 300 yards on the European TourEuropean

Big hitter: Oosthuizen regularly hits over 300 yards on the European Tour

It then rolled downhill for more than a minute and a half, picking up speed after almost coming to a halt at one point and trundling past two bemused spectators before coming to a halt against a kerb – around 500 yards from the tee.

From there the world number seven took a free drop and pitched back onto the fairway, eventually recording a par five on his way to a round of 71 and four-under-par halfway total of 140.

It is still not known whether Oosthuizen's drive ended up further than the previous longest hit in tournament history – courtesy of 64-year-old Mike Austin, who hit 515 yards on a 450-yard par 4 in Las Vegas.

Stroll: The South African's drive rolled for a minute and a half down a path, and he ended up making par

Stroll: The South African's drive rolled for a minute and a half down a path, and he ended up making par

That way! Oosthuizen stands with his caddie Wynand Stander on the tenth hole in South Korea

That way! Oosthuizen stands with his caddie Wynand Stander on the tenth hole in South Korea

Swansea flare incident – police appeal for witnesses

Police investigation launched after flare is set off at Swansea v Man United

|

UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 23 December 2012

Police are appealing for witnesses after a flare was set off inside the stadium during Swansea's home game with Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

The flare was let off 15 minutes into the game – which ended 1-1 – after United scored.

Police said it was discharged from the crowd in the away end before hitting the roof and ricocheting back down into the crowd at the Liberty Stadium.

Appeal: The incident occurred during Sunday's 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium

Appeal: The incident occurred during Sunday's 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium

Detectives said it was fortunate that the flare missed any spectators and that no-one was hurt following the incident at about 1.50pm on Sunday.

Detective Inspector Jeff Handley, of South Wales Police, said: 'We are proud of the fact that the Liberty Stadium promotes a family atmosphere and welcomes spectators from all over the UK.

'This was a very foolish act by an irresponsible individual.

'We are fortunate that nobody was seriously hurt today.

'It's important that anybody with information contacts us so that we can identify the individual and let him or her explain their actions to a court.'

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact South Wales Police 01656 655555 or 101.

Nasser Hussain: We have to bring in DRS for all Test matches

Nasser Hussain: 'Enough is enough. We have to bring in DRS for all Test matches.'

|

UPDATED:

21:47 GMT, 16 December 2012

The time has now come for the ICC to stand up to the Indian cricket board and say: ‘Enough is enough. We are using the decision review system in all Test matches.’

This series has provided all the proof needed that the game is categorically better off using technology rather than relying totally on the men in the middle.

Controversy: England captain Alastair Cook was given out caught despite the ball traveling well wide of his bat

Controversy: England captain Alastair Cook was given out caught despite the ball traveling well wide of his bat

Surely the world game’s governing body can now go to India and say, ‘we have listened to your reservations and we respect them, but just look at what has happened in a marquee series when technology hasn’t been used. Big mistakes have been made on both sides and your players have misbehaved because of it’.

All the boards bar India now seem to want the system in place. Spectators want it and, judging by his reaction to a decision yesterday, India captain MS Dhoni wants it.

And sitting in the Indian dressing room is the man who invented DRS, their coach Duncan Fletcher. What more do they need

Nobody is saying the technology used is perfect. But the very professional people behind it are working towards making it as near perfect as it can be. And if it had been used in these four Tests, I reckon there might have been one or two errors made with important decisions. Instead, there have been 10 or 12.

I was asked by Sky to come up with the blatant umpiring errors in this series, and I quickly picked out 10 that really should have been spotted by the naked eye by elite umpires. I’m sure there have been other mistakes too.

10 UMPIRING HOWLERS THIS SERIES

Batsman / Bowler – What happened…

Test: Ahmedabad (1st Test)

Samit Patel / Ravi Ashwin – Should have been given out lbw on four

Mumbai (2nd)

Zaheer Khan / Graeme Swann – Given out caught at short leg — nowhere near it

Mumbai (2nd)

Pragyan Ojha / Monty Panesar – Obvious glove to leg slip — missed by Aleem Dar

Mumbai (2nd)

Gautam Gambhir / Graeme Swann – Out lbw after edging the ball into his pads

Kolkata (3rd)

Alastair Cook / Ravi Ashwin – Caught at short leg, not noticed by umpire

Kolkata (3rd)

Monty Panesar / Ravi Ashwin – lbw after nicking it

Nagpur (4th)

Alastair Cook / Ishant Sharma – lbw, despite being hit outside line of off

Nagpur (4th)

Cheteshwar Pujara / Graeme Swann – Given out at short leg off the forearm

Nagpur (4th)

Alastair Cook / Ravi Ashwin – Caught behind, but didn’t hit it

Nagpur (4th)

Jonathan Trott / Ravindra Jadeja – Hit in line with the stumps, survived the lbw shout

I am just not sure it is right when people say the elite panel get 90 per cent of their decisions right. It certainly hasn’t been that way in this series.

The four umpires used in these games seem to have become uncertain once they have had their safety net taken away from them. They have seen from technology that more decisions are out than was perceived in the past and, without it, they are not sure what to give and what to turn down.

The genie is out of the bottle. The modern generation can’t understand why technology isn’t being used. It’s time for India to see the error of their ways and accept the views of the vast majority. We have seen with our own eyes that it is the only way forward now.

Commanding: Despite his unfair dismissal, Alastair Cook's (pictured) England team remain on course for an historic series win

Commanding: Despite his unfair dismissal, Alastair Cook's (pictured) England team remain on course for an historic series win

We
are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur 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.

Hereford racecourse given hope after hosting final meeting in 241-year history

Hereford racecourse given a lifeline after hosting final meeting in 241-year history

|

UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 16 December 2012

It may not be all doom and gloom for the supporters of Hereford racecourse, which held its final meeting for the foreseeable future on Sunday.

Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone (due to race for the last time on Tuesday) claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open at some stage in the future.

Assistant racing director Jim Allen said: ‘There are still 17 years left on the lease and any racecourse or body can come and talk to us about it.

Game over: The sun set on Hereford's racing history on Sunday

Game over: The sun set on Hereford's racing history on Sunday

Hope: Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open in the future

Hope: Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open in the future

‘We’d like to see racing continue at
Hereford at some point in the future and we’ll do what we can to make
that happen. We’ll be maintaining it, it will stay as it is and there is
still every opportunity that some fixtures in 2014 will return here.’

Disputes with the local council over the lease have led to Arena deciding to curtail a business which it says is not financially viable.

Even if this is the case, any of the remaining races of even vague importance have long been transferred elsewhere and recent investment in the facilities at the venue is non-existent, with the bar for owners and trainers, for example, housed in a fairly dilapidated shack.

Richard Johnson, so often runner-up in the jockeys’ championship to Tony McCoy, was born just five miles away and rode his first ever winner at Hereford on his grandfather’s Rusty Bridge in 1994.

Bustling: The bookmakers stools were as busy as ever

Bustling: The bookmakers stools were as busy as ever

End of an era: Spectators make their way into the racecourse for the last time

End of an era: Spectators make their way into the racecourse for the last time

Appropriately Johnson took the opening race on the card when partnering Sammys Gone to victory.

He said: ‘I was 16 when I first rode here, so it’s very sad. I know a lot of people have said they are keen on trying to do something to keep it open, so I really hope they do.’

A decent crowd of 2,600 watched the last race in Hereford’s 241-year history, and it turned out to be a lucky one for Seymour Eric who was winning for the first time in his career and completed a double on the day for trainer Martin Keighley.

He said: ‘It’s a local track to me, it’s well run and it’s sad to see it go. Hopefully something can change.’

Below par: The facilities at the venue were criticised due to a lack of recent investment

Below par: The facilities at the venue were criticised due to a lack of recent investment

One last time: Seymour Eric won The Thermolast Handicap Hurdle Race, the last race of the day

One last time: Seymour Eric won The Thermolast Handicap Hurdle Race, the last race of the day

There might not have been any Cheltenham Festival candidates on show at Hereford yesterday, but across the Irish Sea Pont Alexandre looked a top-class hurdler in the making when landing the Navan Novice Hurdle.

The performance was good enough for the Willie Mullins-trained four-year-old to be installed as 6-1 favourite with Paddy Power for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Royal Trophy 2012: Ryo Ishikawa could make the difference in Brunei

Japan's superstar Ishikawa could be the difference in Asia's bid to topple Europe in Royal Trophy

|

UPDATED:

15:48 GMT, 15 December 2012

The first thing that set Ryo Ishikawa apart from the other golfers at the Royal Trophy, Ryder Cup stars and all, came during the tournament’s opening ceremony.

Each player was introduced to polite and respectful applause. Then came Ryo, and suddenly the room was not filled with dignitaries and journalists but squealing teenagers.

Ishikawa attracts a fanatical following from his homeland of Japan wherever he plays across the globe. Whenever he takes to the course there are as many photographers as paying spectators following his every move.

Eyes on the prize: Ishikawa struck two outstanding shots in the fourballs

Eyes on the prize: Ishikawa struck two outstanding shots in the fourballs

Young, squeaky clean, good looking but entirely unthreatening… as a colleague here in Brunei put it, Ishikawa could well be described as the Justin Bieber of golf.

But, like when asking anyone over the age of 16 what their favourite Bieber song is, mention Ishikawa and most golf fans’ faces will turn blank.

To be fair to Ryo, his music does not make a proportion of the public want to pull their own fingernails out. Although it must be said we’ve never heard him sing. Let’s keep it that way.

So what’s all the fuss about Well, apart from the boyband looks, he donated his earnings on tour in 2011 to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief fund, plus an additional 750 for every birdie he made during the year. So he’s a nice boy – but is he a top-class golfer

The Ishikawa frenzy erupted when he became the youngest ever winner on the Japan Golf Tour aged just 15. Now 21, Ryo has won another 10 titles but only last month ended a barren run of two years without a victory. He has also never made his presence felt at any of the major championships, beyond the sizable boost to the local economies provided by the ever-present, and ultimately disappointed, throng of Japanese tourists.

Joining the scrum following Ishikawa during his fourball match at the Royal Trophy on Saturday, there were encouraging signs early on.

Up for grabs: The Royal Trophy was on display as Ye Yang tees off

Up for grabs: The Royal Trophy was on display as Ye Yang tees off

A wedge approach into the par-four first was accompanied by a long, posed follow-through – the equivalent of the ‘save for the cameras’ in football – as the ball flew straight at the flag and stopped four feet from the pin.

Ishikawa is known as ‘the Bashful Prince’ back home, but this was a showman working the crowd in a way the rather arrogant Prince, of musical fame, would approve.

But it was not to last. The putt shaved the hole leaving Ishikawa flabbergasted. A stunning approach to the fifth was a rare highlight in a round consisting mainly of piercing drives but sloppy iron play.

Despite being 50 yards longer off the tee than one of his opponents, Francesco Molinari, he was unable to match the two-time Ryder Cup veteran’s precision into the greens.

Then he started to falter off the tee too, splashing down in the lake with an ugly slice on the eighth, and began to find fairway bunkers with ease.

As Duran Duran might have sung, his name is Ryo and he likes playing from the sand. Ishikawa and fellow Japenese Yoshinori Fujimoto found themselves two holes down to the Molinari brothers at the turn and wilting in the stifling tropical heat.

All looked lost, but Fujimoto had other ideas. Sleeves pulled up, in the manner of Andy Roddick, over his impossibly square shoulders, he started firing at pins and sparked life back into the contest. And then, the moment we’d all been waiting for.

Raptures: Ishikawa received a warm reception in the opening ceremony, a much louder applause than Ryder Cup stars such as Miguel Angel Jimenez

Raptures: Ishikawa received a warm reception in the opening ceremony, a much louder applause than Ryder Cup stars such as Miguel Angel Jimenez

With his playing partner in trouble after driving towards the beach on the 549-yard long 15th, an under-pressure Ishikawa launched a lusty blow off the tee before firing a laser-guided missile into the green. His ball finished nine feet from the pin and the putt was sunk for an eagle three, the first of the week on any par-five here.

The fire was lit in Ishikawa’s belly and he followed that with another belter into the green at the short 16th.

Fujimoto’s birdie meant he did not need to complete his own near-certain two. After finding sand off the tee on the 17th, he blasted his approach out of the bunker to 10 feet. The Molinaris missed longer birdie putts and the match was over, the Japanese winning three up.

It wasn’t the most polished performance and it remains to be seen whether he can succeed under such an intense media glare. Helping Asia to come from a point behind and beat Europe in Sunday’s singles here may also be beyond his powers.

He takes on Henrik Stenson tomorrow.

But with two of the most fabulous blows you will ever see in any golf tournament across the globe, this young superstar won a new admirer.

If Ishikawa really is the Justin Bieber of golf… then I’m a Belieber.

West Ham want to introduce safe standing at Olympic Stadium

West Ham will consider safe standing areas in their Olympic Stadium plans

|

UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 7 December 2012

TODAY'S POLL

Should there be safe standing at the Olympic Stadium

Yes

No

VOTE

Olympic Stadium

POLL RESULTS

Close

All polls
Click to view yesterday's poll results

DM.has(“rcp”, “poll”,
pollId: '1033574',
channelId: '3',
questionId: ''
);

West Ham co-owner David Gold has told fans he is ready to explore the possibility of incorporating a 'safe standing' area at the Olympic Stadium.

The Hammers were this week chosen as the preferred bidder for the site in Stratford which hosted the Games in such spectacular style through the summer.

To a question posed by Twitter user @Jamie_Seagrave, asking if safe standing could be used, Gold responded: 'I do hope so.'

Hammer time: West Ham will look into ideas to have safe standing should they take over the Olympic Stadium

Hammer time: West Ham will look into ideas to have safe standing should they take over the Olympic Stadium, like German clubs have incorporated in the Bundesliga (below)

German clubs, like Bourissa Dortmund (pictured), have safe standing areas

German clubs, like Bourissa Dortmund (pictured), have safe standing areas

SECTION 11 OF THE FOOTBALL SPECTATORS ACT 1989

'The
Secretary of State may, by order, direct the licensing authority to include in
any licence to admit spectators to any specified premises a condition imposing
requirements as respects the seating of spectators at designated football
matches at the premises; and it shall be the duty of the authority to comply
with the direction.'

A 19-strong London Legacy Development
Corporation board led by London mayor Boris Johnson unanimously agreed
to make West Ham their first-rank bidder – hopefully signalling at least
the beginning of the end of a still interminable legacy process.

But
there is still plenty of hard talking to go on before West Ham move in,
which is still not likely be until the 2016-17 season, if indeed it
happens.

The Premier
League and successive governments have until now also opposed any
changes regarding standing areas to the Football Spectators Act 1989,
brought in after the Hillsborough disaster which cost the lives of 96
Liverpool supporters in the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday’s
stadium

How it used to be: Aston Villa were keen to explore plans for a return to safe standing

How it used to be: Aston Villa were keen to explore plans for a return to safe standing

Big Sam: West Ham must not create 'white elephant'

Sam Allardyce has
warned it would be a ‘disaster’ if West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium but do
not have the team to fill it with supporters.

The 58-year-old said: ‘You cannot
build a white elephant. The white elephant would be a great stadium and
no team. Disaster. We have to manage our finances carefully because of
the overriding debt of the football club. What David Sullivan and David
Gold do is top it up with their own wealth. But somewhere down the line
they want to create a situation where that does not have to happen.

‘The long term future of the football
club is not only a new stadium but a new training facility. Years of
good financial management is needed as well as success on the field.’

Allardyce is well aware of the impact
a brand new stadium can have on a football club. He used the Reebok
Stadium, finished in 1997, to build a solid Premier League club at
Bolton when he took over in 1999 and spent eight years there.

And Allardyce is keen to build a new
history for the club at the stadium. He added: ‘There’s always a lot of
disruption when a club decides to move from what is a huge history. West
Ham’s huge history is always going to be upsetting for some of the very
loyal supporters we have. [It’s a chance] for me to try to build a new
history.

‘You never forget what’s happened before. It’s instilled in the football
club. But you want to build a new history for the young fans who come
to support West Ham, they want to have something to remember when they
get older. They can’t really remember when it happened way back in the
Bobby Moore days when the club was at its heights.

‘We’ve got to try to create a new history, well if you can do that in a
new stadium you’ll never forget the history but you take that with you
and try to build a better one.’

Once safety is secured in the Premier League this season, Allardyce will
sit down to discuss a new contract so he can be a part of building that
history.

Sam Cunningham

In October this
year Aston Villa became the first Premier League club to publicly back a
new campaign for trials of standing areas for fans in top-flight and
Championship matches.

The
campaign has been launched by the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF)
and with Birmingham MP Roger Godsiff, Aston Villa and Peterborough have
both given their support to calls for the Government to allow
'small-scale trials of safe standing areas'.

Peter
Daykin, Safe Standing Coordinator at the FSF, said: 'For two decades
since the Taylor Report, the overwhelming majority of football
supporters have favoured a choice of standing and sitting at football,
and fans continue to stand throughout all levels of the game today, even
in the Premier League and Championship where it is against ground
regulations and facilities are designed for sitting.

'Standing
was outlawed on grounds of safety, and yet successive governments have
agreed that standing is safe – it's hard not to when it is done
perfectly safely every week at rugby grounds, lower league football
grounds and in top football leagues all around the world.'

Last year the Hillsborough Family Support Group opposed any move to bring back standing areas.

HFSG
spokesman Margaret Aspinall said then: 'The Hillsborough Family Support
Group are totally against any form of standing whatsoever. We are
absolutely against it and always will be. Our football clubs should
remain all-seater stadiums.

'People
always say they have standing areas in Germany, but we don't play any
part over what happens in that country – we just believe there's no such
thing as safe standing in this country. We will not be encouraging the
government to change the law.'

Responding directly to the FSF campaign, a Premier League spokesman dismissed the idea.

He
said: 'Since the introduction of all-seater stadia the supporter
experience has improved significantly and we have seen more diverse
crowds attending Premier League matches including more women and
children.

'The police,
safety officers and licensing authorities remain clear on this issue and
have consistently informed us that crowd management has improved as a
result of all-seater stadia being in place in the top two divisions in
this country.

Tragedy: The Hillsborough Family Support Group are opposed to plans for safe standing - the 1989 stadium disaster saw all-seater stadia introduced to top-flight teams in England

Tragedy: The Hillsborough Family Support Group are opposed to plans for safe standing – the 1989 stadium disaster saw all-seater stadia introduced to top-flight teams in England

Open to ideas: Hammers co-owner David Gold responded to a fan's question on social networking site Twitter

Open to ideas: Hammers co-owner David Gold (L) responded to a fan's question on social networking site Twitter

'We will not be encouraging the Government to change the law.'

In 2011, prior to their relegation to
the fourth tier in Scotland, Rangers revealed they are 'willing to
explore the possibility' of a safe-standing section at Ibrox. Celtic and
Motherwell followed suit.

Scotland is not bound by the law which banned standing areas in top-flight football in England.

Artists impression of what the Olympic Stadium would look like should West Ham be handed the keysArtists impression of what the Olympic Stadium would look like should West Ham be handed the keys

Artists impression of what the Olympic Stadium would look like should West Ham be handed the keys

ADAM SHERGOLD: MY VISIT TO HAMBURG HAS CONVINCED ME THAT SAFE STANDING SHOULD BE INTRODUCED TO ENGLISH GROUNDS…

I've been a big advocate of Safe Standing for many years and
a recent trip to Germany confirmed my belief that it's the way forward here
too.

I went to watch the Bundesliga match between Hamburg and
Stuttgart at the Imtech Arena with three mates and there was no doubt in our
minds that in order to experience it properly, we would have to be standing.

In contrast to the top divisions in England, Safe Standing
areas are the norm in every Bundesliga stadium and have been for a number of
years.

Because UEFA regulations are different, all of them can be
quickly converted into all-seated sections with bolt-in seats for Champions
League and Europa League games.

Plenty of colour: Hamburg fans at the Imtech Arena get the atmosphere going prior to their Bundesliga match with Stuttgart with a display of flags, scarves and banners

Plenty of colour: Hamburg fans at the Imtech Arena get the atmosphere going prior to their Bundesliga match with Stuttgart with a display of flags, scarves and banners

Unlike the vast, dangerous terraces of yesteryear, the Safe
Standing areas are ticketed to control numbers and fans can stand behind
retractable barriers. At Hamburg, there were also tall fences separating
'blocks' to prevent everyone rushing to the middle.

Standing also means a cheaper ticket – I was pleasantly surprised
to pay 15 euros (12) for my ticket, a price which included Metro travel to and
from the ground.

It's a point frequently made but a budget airline ticket and
a match ticket to a place like Hamburg, booked enough in advance, work out only
fractionally more expensive than admission to a big game at Old Trafford or the
Emirates.

As for the matchday experience, I must say it was excellent
– let down only by Hamburg losing 1-0.

Great view: The safe standing section at Hamburg offered great views of the action and the entire ground

Great view: The safe standing section at Hamburg offered great views of the action and the entire ground

The section was full but didn't feel cramped and the view of
the pitch was excellent. Stewarding was friendly and low key, you could happily
move to another spot if you wanted and easily escape to the snack bar for
another delicious hot dog.

It's so relaxed out there that fans drank Holsten in plastic
glasses in sight of the pitch – something long forbidden here – and there were
even Stuttgart fans stood behind us watching with Hamburg-supporting friends
and family without a hint of antagonism.

Before kick-off, there was a wonderful choreographed display
of flags and banners as streamers and tickertape fluttered down from the upper
tier.

Low down to our right, one of the Ultras clung to the
netting to conduct hundreds in boisterous singing and bouncing to the
relentless beat of the drum.

Noisy: The Hamburg Ultras with the flags in the centre of the stand generated an excellent atmosphere throughout the game

Noisy: The Hamburg Ultras with the flags in the centre of the stand generated an excellent atmosphere throughout the game

The noise quickly spread throughout the rest of the stand
with everyone clapping along, twirling their blue and white scarves and belting
out their backing with heart and passion.

It was a superior atmosphere to anything I've experienced in
the Premier League and there's no question that was because fans who want to
sing were allowed to stand.

Its introduction in the Premier League should also be used
as an opportunity to reduce ticket prices (though I'm not holding my breath)
and win back some of those, particularly young, fans who fall out of love with
the game because they can't afford to watch it live.

My experience at Hamburg only strengthened a long-held
belief that Safe Standing should be pursued with vigour by the Premier League,
its clubs and politicians and I can’t wait to get out to a German game again
soon.

Kevin Pietersen thanks England team-mates for support after Test win over India

KP thanks England team-mates after match winning century levels series with India

|

UPDATED:

07:54 GMT, 26 November 2012

Kevin Pietersen thanked the England players, management and fans as he firmly re-established himself in the line-up with a match-winning century in the second Test against India.

Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann took 19 wickets between them – 11 of them going to the left-armer – to ensure England only had to chase 57 this morning, something they achieved with a minimum of fuss.

But the victory was built on the first-innings centuries from Alastair Cook and, in particular, man of the match Pietersen, whose 186 was his first major contribution since his return to the team following the much-publicised troubles of the summer.

Man of the match: Kevin Pietersen celebrates his match winning innings in the England dressing room

Man of the match: Kevin Pietersen celebrates his match winning innings in the England dressing room

'Thanks to the guys in the dressing room and the management for sorting everything out,' he said.

'Every day you put on an England jersey is a special day.

'We are so privileged as England cricketers with the spectators that travel around the world with us, they are purely magnificent.

'Without their support we can't achieve things.'

Pietersen said he thought his innings was his best for England.

Asked where he placed the ton among his record-equalling haul of 22, he said: 'Now that we've won, probably at the top.

'Yesterday I said we needed to win the match and Test hundreds feel a lot better when you win.

'Panesar, Swann were outstanding in that second innings. Cookie is a magnificent cricketer – he'll break every England record for Test hundreds and career runs.

'What a difference a week makes. The boys came to Mumbai, they worked hard, they trained hard, they backed themselves and there's a good united spirit in that dressing room which is magnificent.'

It was an impressive way for England to bounce back from the nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad in the first Test.

Chipping in: Swann was able to support Panesar with his wickets

Chipping in: Swann was able to support Panesar with his wickets

Captain Cook said: “It was a tough week at Ahmedabad and the character we showed today and these last three days has been fantastic. I just can't fault the effort from the lads and the performance they've put in these last four days.'

Cook was visibly frustrated after losing the toss and being asked to bat, and he said: 'It was an important toss but the way we bowled that first day was fantastic.

'And the way Kevin batted, the way he took the game away from India – to get an 80-odd run lead was vital on that wicket.

Main man: Panesar bowled very well in both innings

Main man: Panesar bowled very well in both innings

'It was a fantastic innings, great to watch from the other end. We almost could have got more of a lead in the end.

'The way Swanny and Monty bowled when the pressure was on, not to let India get away was fantastic.'

He added: “It's been an interesting two weeks, both ends of the spectrum.'

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni singled out Panesar as England's matchwinner.

'Monty bowled really well,' he said. 'If you see all the other spinners, all of them looked effective, all of them were getting a bit of turn and bounce, but they were not really uncomfortable for the batsmen, but Monty, the pace he bowled at, he made sure the batsmen were coming on to the front foot and playing him so I think the major difference was him.'

Lay off Neil Lennon – Celtic"s Efe Ambrose

Lay off Lennon, says Efe as Celtic boss threatens to quit after fans showdown

|

UPDATED:

00:57 GMT, 26 November 2012

Efe Ambrose has urged disgruntled Celtic fans to cut Neil Lennon some slack after the Parkhead boss issued a shock threat to quit.

The 1-0 defeat suffered by the SPL champions at home to Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday prompted a verbal flare-up between the Parkhead manager and a handful of spectators near his technical area.

The Irishman, who has Celtic in contention for a place in the last-16 of the Champions League, even went as far as to warn he would exit his post if that’s what his detractors really wanted.

Row: Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan seated near the dugout

Row: Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan seated near the dugout

‘If they’re not happy with what I’m doing and they want me to go, then I will,’ said Lennon. ‘If fans make it clear they’re not happy and want me out, then that’s OK. I’ll do the honourable thing.’

The latest reversal means Celtic have spilled 17 points in the SPL this season and taken just one point from their last three home games.

Ambrose, however, believes any unhappy fans should give the manager a break.

‘I believe these things come out of desperation,’ said the Nigerian defender, when asked about Saturday’s confrontation.

‘The fans want us to win but, when we cannot win, you see the other side of them. The ugly side, but this is football.

‘I believe that with patience, everything works out better than they think.
‘The team is just building up and the injuries coming along do not help.
‘It’s affecting the team a bit.

‘When the injured players are back, you are going to see a better Celtic team.

‘The fans should stay behind us and stick with us.

Gutted: Celtic crashed to a shock defeat at home to Inverness

Gutted: Celtic crashed to a shock defeat at home to Inverness

‘The supporters are here to see what this team can do, but we are just starting out, we have not even reached the second level.’

Ambrose knows the players must also raise their performances and fire up the crowd and he has vowed that Saturday’s defeat will be a watershed in Celtic’s domestic season.

‘I now believe that will be the end of it,’ he said. ‘From now on, we will make sure this never happens again at Celtic Park.

‘It’s not been good here as we have been losing and drawing games in the SPL.

‘Our away record is better than at home and that is not good, so we are going to work harder to balance that.

‘From now on, we will be winning games at home.’

Despite defeating Barcelona in an impressive Champions League campaign, Celtic are only one point ahead of Aberdeen in the SPL ahead of a visit to Tynecastle on Wednesday night.

Party time: Inverness manager Terry Butcher celebrates

Party time: Inverness manager Terry Butcher celebrates

Ambrose, however, vehemently denied that there was an attitude problem with players facing domestic games after the high of European nights.

‘I wouldn’t say that,’ he added. ‘It’s difficult. I’d say that every team that comes here to face us wants to be like we were against Barcelona and do what we did.

‘To defeat Celtic at home is a great achievement for them.

‘But we will learn from our mistakes.

‘In the past three games at home in the SPL, we have only taken one point and that is not good enough.

‘We need to make sure things go right from now on.

‘We have a couple of injuries in the squad, but we have the players to come into the first XI.

‘I do believe that, when we have a fully-fit squad and everyone is back, there will be a lot of difference.

‘But, as for now, we have to try and see how we play together when missing some key men.

‘I don’t believe tiredness is an excuse, but, when we have a full squad, we’ll do better than we are just now.’

Kevin Pietersen hits 86-ball century

Welcome back Kevin! Pietersen smashes 86-ball century in warm-up against Haryana

|

UPDATED:

11:53 GMT, 8 November 2012

Kevin Pietersen reacquainted himself with the feel of bat on ball to make a murderous century as England cashed in against some weak Haryana bowling on the opening day of their four-day match in Ahmedabad.

With the first Test against India only a week away, Pietersen chose the quickest possible route to reintegration, smashing 110 from 94 deliveries in his only his second innings of the tour. At stumps, Alastair Cook’s side had butchered 408 for 4. They may never score easier runs.

Cook himself cracked an authoritative 97, studded with 18 fours, and put on 166 in 34 overs with his opening partner Nick Compton, who is now inked in for a Test debut and scored 74 before falling lbw to leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

Back in the game: Kevin Pietersen wasted no time against Haryana before retiring on 110 runs

Back in the game: Kevin Pietersen wasted no time against Haryana before retiring on 110 runs

Back in the game: Kevin Pietersen wasted no time against Haryana before retiring on 110 runs
HARYANA V ENGLAND

Click here to view the full scorecard

Compton had stretched a long way
forward, but his point had already been made: a pair of half-centuries
after beginning his first senior trip with 0 and 1 oozed the kind of
grit England will need in the weeks ahead.

Jonathan Trott fell on the sweep to
Mishra for 46 – his fourth successive middling score, following 56, 28
and 30 – before Ian Bell completed a satisfactory day for England with
an undefeated 57, having earlier reduced his team-mates in the pavilion
to hysterics by falling off his chair.

Pietersen was in no mood for a
similar pratfall. After getting out to his old buddy Yuvraj Singh for 23
nine days ago against India A, he had only this game to find some form
ahead of the first Test.

And with the match taking place in
front of only a handful of spectators at the low-key Motera B Ground –
essentially a field next to the Test venue enclosed by a six-foot-high
whitewashed wall – he had to draw on his own motivation.

Nailed on: Nick Compton was in brilliant form again and looks set to start in the four-Test series against India

Nailed on: Nick Compton was in brilliant form again and looks set to start in the four-Test series against India

Waiting in the wings: Kevin Pietersen was back in the squad waiting for his return to the crease

Waiting in the wings: Kevin Pietersen was back in the squad waiting for his return to the crease

Waiting in the wings: Kevin Pietersen was back in the squad waiting for his return to the crease

He did so with aplomb, making liberal
use of his trademark flamingo shot early on against the Haryana
seamers, then tucking into the novice off-breaks of Jayant Yadav.

Yadav should have had him on 85, but –
the ball after a sweep for six – Pietersen was badly dropped at deep
midwicket by Amit Vashisht. And when he glanced the hapless Vashisht for
four soon afterwards, he had moved to a century from just 86 balls.

A cursory raise of his bat said more
about the questionable quality of the bowling than anything more
sinister, for Pietersen knows that the real business starts next
Thursday.

Blunt attack: Jaywant Patel (centre) celebrated a wicket, but there was little spin on display for England to practice against

Blunt attack: Jaywant Patel (centre) celebrated a wicket, but there was little spin on display for England to practice against

Off you go: Alastair Cook and Compton (left) jog between the wickets

Off you go: Alastair Cook and Compton (left) jog between the wickets

Even so, some of his strokeplay was
magnificent, and by the time he retired out with seven overs of the day
to go, it was with the air of a man who had merely devoured his starter.

Bell had already become the third
player of the day – after Compton and Pietersen – to reach his
half-century with a straight six, and England can now go into the first
Test reassured that each member of their top six has now spent decent
time in the middle.

The only downside was the
half-heartedness of the examination.

Mishra, who has played 13 Tests for
India, did not bring himself on to bowl his leg-breaks until the 50th
over, and stayed on for only nine before returning briefly late in the
day.

Good warm-up It's debatable how much benefit the match against Haryana will yield as the England batsmen were not playing against India's famed spin attack

Good warm-up It's debatable how much benefit the match against Haryana will yield as the England batsmen were not playing against India's famed spin attack

ATP World Tour Finals extend O2 Arena deal until 2015

Treat for British tennis fans as ATP World Tour Finals extend O2 Arena stay until 2015

PUBLISHED:

13:29 GMT, 7 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

13:29 GMT, 7 November 2012

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals will stay in London for an extra two years until 2015.

The prestigious season-ending tournament moved to the O2 Arena in 2009 on a five-year deal and has been a huge success, with more than 750,000 spectators attending over the first three years and unanimous backing from the players.

An extension to the deal has been mooted since last year but has now been signed, and ATP executive chairman and president Brad Drewett said: 'We are very happy to announce the extension of our original commitment in London for a further two years.'

Clash of the titans: Andy Murray will be in action at the O2 Arena again on Wednesday against Novak Djokovic

Clash of the titans: Andy Murray will be in action at the O2 Arena again on Wednesday against Novak Djokovic

Anyone for tennis The ATP World Tour Finals have been at the O2 since 2009

Anyone for tennis The ATP World Tour Finals have been at the O2 since 2009 and has now extended its stay