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In brief: World Cup dream over for Morgan

Dubliner Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of England's World Cup squad with a broken finger.

Morgan, who missed the seventh and final one-day international against Australia with the injury he first noticed during the fourth game in Adelaide, will be replaced by Ravi Bopara.

Meanwhile, Ireland lost a 12-a-side World Cup warm-up match to Kenya by three wickets in Dubai yesterday after a second alarming batting collapse in three days.

Without resting skipper William Porterfield, the top scorer in Sunday's defeat by Zimbabwe, Ireland slumped to 56-7, before Ed Joyce (59) and Andrew White (29) helped lift the total to a still inadequate 176 all out.


New Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has been given what he wanted for next year's defence of the trophy in Chicago -- only two wild cards and a change to the qualifying system.

Olazabal believes that by selecting five players off a European Tour money list first and then going to a world ranking points list for the next five -- for Colin Montgomerie it was the other way round and only four from the world list -- the chances of the best players qualifying automatically will be enhanced.

Qualifying starts in September and runs through to the end of August next year.

  • The top three players in the world rankings will appear together in a three-ball for the first time at a European Tour event tomorrow.

Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods will play together for the opening two rounds of the Dubai Desert Classic.

- DUBLINER Dara Lernihan landed six birdies on his way to the first-round 69 which left him tied 11th on two-under after yesterday's first round of the 54-hole El Valle Open in Murcia, Spain.

Castle's Irish Close title-holder Lernihan trailed leader James Maw of England by four strokes in the Hi5 satellite tour event. Cian Curley, winner of the 2010 East of Ireland, shared 43rd place after opening with a 72. Neil O'Briain shot 73 and Michael McGeady posted a two-over-par 74.


MARY Cullen clinched the 3,000m time for the upcoming European Indoors when finishing third in Lievin last night in 8:56.89 but for the second race in a row Fionnuala Britton just failed to get inside the qualifying mark of nine minutes flat, finishing fifth in 9:00.81.

Derval O'Rourke also continued her promising early-season form, coming close to breaking eight seconds when third in the 60m hurdles in a new season best of 8:03.

Irish Independent