Saturday 29 November 2014

In Brief: Ireland scrap tour to Pakistan after attack

Published 12/06/2014 | 02:30

6 May 2014; Nial O'Brien, Ireland, sweeps the ball away from a delivery off Sachithra Senanayake, Sri Lanka. One Day International Cricket Match, Ireland v Sri Lanka, Castle Avenue, Clontarf, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
6 May 2014; Nial O'Brien, Ireland, sweeps the ball away from a delivery off Sachithra Senanayake, Sri Lanka. One Day International Cricket Match, Ireland v Sri Lanka, Castle Avenue, Clontarf, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

IRELAND will look to arrange a fresh series against top-class opposition this autumn after announcing yesterday that a proposed tour of Pakistan will not go ahead following the attack on Karachi airport that left more than 30 people dead.

Cricket Ireland were in advanced talks to take part in three one-day internationals which would have been the first series hosted in Pakistan since gunmen ambushed the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009, killing six policeman and two civilians.

One alternative for Ireland – en route to Australia for a training camp in October ahead of next year's World Cup – would be to play the series in the UAE instead, but Pakistan are not thought to be keen on the idea.

Sri Lanka – who played and won a rain-effected two-game series in Dublin last month – and Bangladesh are other possibilities, although the latter have avoided Ireland in recent times.

Ireland have only three ODIs against Scotland scheduled between now and the start of the World Cup in February, with the other three non-Test playing qualifiers – Scotland, Afghanistan and the UAE – in a similar situation.

Chris Froome holds a 12-second overall lead after stage four in the Criterium du Dauphine, which was was won by Katusha's Yuri Trofimov.

Froome's tyre was punctured 33km from the end, but he switched his bike and was able to recover with the help of Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas to finish 21st.

Froome crossed the line two minutes and 20 seconds behind Trofimov, but retains the yellow jersey ahead of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling) in third.

Trofimov was among a group of 13 riders to break away after the 21km-mark and the Russian pulled away halfway up the climb of the Col de Manse before sprinting to victory on the 12km descent.

CONNACHT have landed Leinster pair Quinn Roux and John Cooney on loan next season in a move supported by the IRFU.

Scrum-half Cooney will spend the season at the Sportsground next year after gaining limited opportunity at Leinster, while South African-born second-row Roux has been handed an initial deal that will run until December 31.

Ireland's Mark Tuite won the European Masters Championship in Sofia yesterday. He defeated Alain Vandersteen of Belgium 6-5 in the final.

Irish Independent

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