In brief: ICC claim bans will deter cheats
Bans given to Pakistan trio Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for spot-fixing "will act as a strong deterrent" to other players, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday.
The trio were found guilty of corruption by an ICC tribunal on Saturday and former Pakistan captain Butt (26) was banned for 10 years, five of them suspended. Asif (28) was banned for seven years with two suspended, while 18-year-old Amir was given a straight five-year ban.
IRELAND suffered a six-wicket defeat by Zimbabwe in the first of two World Cup warm-up matches in Dubai yesterday after the unlucky dismissal of Ed Joyce led to a mid-innings collapse.
Captain William Porterfield (66) and Joyce (45) had added 105 for the second wicket when the Sussex star was run-out at the non-striker's end by a deflected drive.
Ireland slumped from 111-1 to 154-8 before Andrew White (41) rallied the tail and took the total to a barely respectable 204 all out.
Zimbabwe paced their reply to win the 12-a-side non-capped match with a comfortable 43 balls to spare.
Meanwhile, Dublin-born Eoin Morgan is to see a specialist before a decision is taken whether or not he can play for England at the World Cup.
The absence of their South African stars proved no handicap to Pembroke Wanderers as they won on the road yesterday in the Irish Hockey League.
Paddy Conlon turned on the style at Shawsbridge in a 3-1 victory, which maintains Wanderers spot at the head of the IHL's Pool B. Two of the goals came from Paddy Good and the third from the stick of Maurice Elliott, while the Instonians scorer was Italian Imtiaz Pannu.
Monkstown trailed to an early Dermot Reay goal against Banbridge but went on to triumph 5-3, while Glenanne and YMCA both also had to come from behind, against Cork C of I and Cork Harlequins respectively, before extinguishing all realistic Munster ambition in the competition.
Corinthians continued to blaze a trail in the IHL as they recovered from the loss of Davy Carson with an ankle injury to defeat Cookstown 2-1.
CONOR Turner and Shani Stallard joined Sycerika McMahon in qualifying for the European junior championships on the final night of the Dave McCullagh Memorial long course gala in Limerick.
Aer Lingus teenager Turner qualified for the European juniors with a gold medal winning time of 8.29.35 in the 800m freestyle, ahead of Chris Bryan of Ennis (8:29.81).
New Ross girl Stallard clocked a new PB in the 200m breaststroke final to take gold in 2.33.63 and qualify for Serbia this summer.
Northerner McMahon picked up another three golds yesterday having qualified for the championships on Saturday, a performance which included a new Irish junior record of 1:10.54 to win the 100m breaststroke final.
McMahon rounded off an exceptional meet by winning the 400m freestyle (4:22.06), 100m freestyle (57.84) and 200m individual medley (2:18.79) and was well inside the European junior qualification standards in all three.
Beijing Olympian Aisling Cooney of ESB was pleased with her finish to the gala when the Dubliner qualified for this summer's World Student Games in China after clocking 1:03.24 to win the 100m backstroke, finishing three seconds ahead of Emma Cassidy of Sunday's Well. Cooney also won the 100m butterfly in 1:03.57, while the men's 100m back gold went to Portmarnock's Karl Burdis in 57.78.
Cassidy's team-mate Paul Laffin won an exciting 50m free final in 24.82, finishing ahead of Ulster teenager Curtis Coulter (25.05). Coulter went on to win the 100m free in 53.31, well ahead of Templeogue's John Martin, 54.65.
Formula One driver Robert Kubica of Poland underwent surgery yesterday after suffering serious injuries in a rally car accident in Italy just weeks before the start of the new Grand Prix season.
The 26-year-old "suffered a high-speed accident while competing in the Ronde di Andora Rally," his Lotus-Renault team said in a statement. "He was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand. He is currently undergoing surgery at the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure."