11 Apr 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

9:28 am on 11 April 2019

Latest - The Central Pulse are now eight wins from as many games in the ANZ Championship after a dominant 66-50 win over reigning champions the Southern Steel in Invercargill.

Central Pulse Ameliaranne Ekenasio shoots for goal during a match against the Northern Stars.


The Wellington-based side had set the goal of a stronger start to their match and it paid off, sweeping every quarter of the match.

Goal shooter Aliyah Dunn was unstoppable under the hoop shooting 37 goals at 100 percent accuracy.

Kohli king of cricket once again

India captain Virat Kohli was named the 'Leading Cricketer in the World' for the third time in a row in this year's edition of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

Kohli, 30, was also named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year along with England's Jos Buttler and Sam Curran, County Championship-winning captain Rory Burns and Tammy Beaumont from the England women's team.

Kohli, who scored only 134 runs during India's previous tour of England in 2014, amassed 593 runs in his side's five-test series last year at an average of over 59 to book his place on the list.


LeBron caught off guard by Magic Johnson stepping down

Count Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James among those who were stunned by team president Magic Johnson's resignation last night.

Despite Johnson's sudden departure, James stands behind the organization and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, a source close to the All-Star forward told ESPN's Ramona Shelburn.

ESPN also reported that head coach Luke Walton participated in exit meetings with the players.

Walton's job security is in jeopardy after the Lakers (37-45) missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season despite the off-season signing of James to a four-year, $154 million deal.

James, 34, battled injuries and appeared in a career-low 55 games and averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game in 2018-19.

Magic surprised everyone with the move, saying he simply didn't enjoy the role.


Football World Cup to increase teams?

The chances of FIFA increasing the number of teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48 is 50/50 according to the president of football's governing body Gianni Infantino.

Infantino, who is in Brazil for a meeting of the South American Football Confederation, told delegates he was working to ensure the increase for the Qatar tournament, which would mean a guaranteed two extra places for South American sides.

A final decision on the number of teams for the next finals will be taken at the FIFA Congress in Paris on 5 June.

FIFA chose to host the 2022 World Cup for 32 teams in Qatar, although Infantino has sounded out neighbours over their willingness to host some matches in an expanded tournament.

FIFA has already agreed to increase the number of teams to 48 for the 2026 tournament being co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico but is keen to expand quicker than planned.


India shop putter banned for doping

India's Manpreet Kaur, who won women's shot put gold at the 2017 Asian athletics championships, has received a four-year ban after testing positive for banned substances.

Kaur failed doping tests four times in 2017, including at the Asian championships in Bhubaneswar, where she won with a throw of 18.28m, and in the first leg of the Asian grand prix in China, where her winning throw of 18.86m was a national record.

NADA had formed a disciplinary panel to hear the case and handed down the ban, which was backdated to July 2017 when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended.

Kaur, who can appeal the sanction, will lose her gold medals from both meets.


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