CRICKET: Former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie has called for Ireland to be elevated to the Test cricket ranks.
The 39-year-old, now head coach of Yorkshire, believes the move would both reward Ireland's performances in limited-overs internationals and provide a necessary boost to the five-day format.
Gillespie said: "Let's face it, outside of Australia and England and, to a lesser extent, South Africa, people don't turn up to watch Test cricket. That's just the way it is, and it's sad.
"One fantastic way to give Test cricket a lift straight away would be to give Ireland full Test status. It's something that should happen sooner rather than later from the ICC.
"Imagine if Ireland were given Test status. That would be huge news in world cricket, and it would be a massively positive story for the world game.
"The ICC and all the national boards talk a lot about the importance of protecting the integrity of Test cricket. If it is that important, then we should look to improve it, and in my view including Ireland would improve it."
Ireland reached the Super Eight stage of the 2007 World Cup, beating Pakistan and Bangladesh in addition to a memorable tie with England, and also qualified for the World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2010.
Gillespie added: "Ireland are ticking all the boxes. They've punched well above their weight in limited-overs tournaments.
"Think of the list of names who've plied their trade in English domestic cricket and who have even played for England. It would make a decent Test side.
"I don't see why it couldn't happen. Eoin Morgan is obviously with England full-time now but, apart from him, you've got Ed Joyce (Sussex), William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin (both Warwickshire), George Dockrell (Somerset), Peter Chase (Durham)."
Surrey captain Gary Wilson, Middlesex opener Paul Stirling and brothers Niall and Kevin O'Brien are also among the Irish contingent to make their way in the county game.
Two more Kenyan athletes banned for doping offence
DOPING: Kenyan long-distance runners Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo have failed drugs tests and will be banned for two years, Athletics Kenya said yesterday, adding that tests from five other Kenyan athletes have aroused suspicion.
Kimetto, who finished third in the 2012 Athens Marathon, failed a urine drugs test at the Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon in December last year.
Kiplimo failed a doping test taken after the 2014 Yangzhou Half Marathon, which she finished in 1:10:21 in April. Both women tested positive for norandosterone.
Athletics Kenya also asked five other athletes to report to its office by Thursday over "particular issues revolving around doping cases" raised by its Medical and Antidoping Commission.
In October, Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, failed an out-of-competition doping test, and was suspended from competition pending testing of a B sample to be done this week.
Dozens of Kenyan athletes have failed dope tests in the past two years. Kenyan government officials have blamed the growing doping cases on foreign agents and Athletics Kenya's failure to educate its athletes properly.
Kenya's Olympic Champion David Rudisha last week said Athletics Kenya was not doing enough to tackle doping in the east Africa country.
Gutierrez to test drive Ferrari
F1: Ferrari have signed Mexican Esteban Gutierrez as a test and reserve driver for next season, the 16-times Formula One constructors' champions announced yesterday.
The 23-year-old spent two years at Sauber after making his grand prix debut in Australia in 2013 and will provide back-up to Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, winners of a combined five world drivers' titles.
"We are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to Esteban who, although young, has plenty of experience relating to the new generation of Formula 1 cars," director general and team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said in a news release.
Gutierrez, who failed to win any points at Ferrari-powered Sauber last season, said: "It is an honour to become part of the Ferrari family, a team with such an exceptional history".