16 May 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

9:37 am on 16 May 2020

Latest - Motorsport will be back on track in Australia in June after the Supercars Championship confirmed the series will resume with a two-day event at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin Photo: Photosport

The races on 27 and 28 June will be held without spectators.

New Zealand driver Scott McLaughlin won the last Supercars race in Adelaide in February before the series was put in hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Supercars drivers and crew members will be required to stay isolated at a nearby hotel when not at the race track for the first event back.

The full revised Supercars schedule is expected to be released tomorrow.

Women's football World Cup host to be announced

New Zealand and Australia will discover the fate of their joint bid to host the 2023 women's World Cup at an online meeting of the FIFA Council on June 25.

Alex Clayton throws the ball in for Wellington 

Hamilton Wanderers (blue) vs Team Wellington (white), Porritt Stadium, Hamilton,  18 November 2017. Copyright photo © Steve McArthur / www.photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport

As well as the trans-Tasman bidders, Brazil, Colombia and Japan are also in the mix for what the game's global governing body said was the "most competitive bidding process" in the event's 29-year history.

None of the bidding nations have staged the event before.

The hosts were originally due to be chosen at a FIFA Council meeting in Addis Ababa in June but that was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an open vote of the 37-member FIFA Council, the result of each round of balloting and each voter's choice will be made public.

FIFA said its evaluation report on the four bids will be published in early June. South Korea and South Africa dropped out of the race in December.

The 2023 tournament will feature 32 teams for the first time, up from 24 in France in 2019.

- Reuters

Postponed IPL could be held in World Cup window

Virat Kohli and his team will be open to playing the entire Test series against Australia in a 'bio-secure' Adelaide Oval, according to a top Indian Cricket Board official.

India are scheduled to play four Tests and three one-day internationals in December and January in Australia.

Australia vice captain Travis Head backed the idea of playing the entire test series behind closed doors at Adelaide Oval, where an on-site hotel is under construction, to ensure it goes ahead amid restrictions forced by the pandemic.

"The boys would be very keen to go back to the field," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal.

"If the situation allows only one venue for all the matches, so be it. Maybe when lockdown is lifted, it would be the new normal that everyone has to follow.

"There's talk of matches without spectators. Nobody would like that, but if it comes to that and there's no other way, one may have to do that."

"It's still six-seven months down the line. We'll take the right call in the best interest of the safety and health of our boys."

BCCI had to postpone this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) due to the pandemic.

Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates have offered to stage the Twenty20 competition but BCCI is not keen on shifting it.

The pandemic has also jeopardised the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, which is set to begin in October.

Dhumal suggested that the BCCI would consider slotting IPL in the October- November window if the global tournament cannot go ahead.

"If IPL has to happen, there has to be a clear-cut window of 30-40 days," he said.

"If T20 World Cup does not happen, and there's a window available, then it would be worked out, subject to restrictions of course."

- Reuters

Tennis tours extend suspension

There will be no professional tennis until the end of July after the ATP and WTA Tours extended their suspension.

The men's and women's tours were due to resume on July 13 following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that has now been extended until the end of the month.

No tennis has been played since the end of February because of the global shutdown.

The new extension means ATP Tour events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbuhel are all cancelled while Lausanne, Bucharest, and Jurmala will now not host tournaments on the WTA Tour.

Meanwhile, the game's governing body ITF said all events -- including ITF Juniors, Seniors, Wheelchair Tennis Tour, Beach Tennis Tour and the men's and women's ITF World Tennis Tour -- would be suspended.

However, the ITF suspensions will not affect any of the grand slams with Wimbledon having already cancelled this year's championships. The US Open is scheduled to begin on August 24 while the postponed French Open is now due to start on September 20.

- PA

Ricciardo always McLaren's first choice

Daniel Ricciardo was McLaren's first choice to replace Ferrari-bound Spaniard Carlos Sainz and Sebastian Vettel was never in the frame, the British F1 team's chief executive Zak Brown insists.

Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo celebrates.

Daniel Ricciardo Photo: Photosport

Ferrari said on Tuesday that Vettel, who won all his titles with Red Bull between 2010-13, would be leaving after six years with them.

And McLaren announced two days later that Australian star Ricciardo was joining them from Renault for 2021 with Sainz heading to Maranello on a two-year deal to partner Charles Leclerc.

Former world champions McLaren had tried to sign Ricciardo in 2018, when the seven times race winner was at Red Bull mulling his options, and Brown said they had "stayed close".

Brown said he now expects Vettel, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of 2020, to retire.

"Obviously Seb's an awesome driver and a four-time champion," the American told Sky.

"But I think we were pretty far down the path in the off-season and knew we would either land with Daniel or Carlos.

"We never really entertained anyone beyond that, and especially with Seb's late breaking news -- we were pretty far down the path at that point."

- Reuters