18 May 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:04 am on 18 May 2020

Latest - Club netball and cricket is to get a $1 million boost from the ANZ bank in a bid to help community sport get back up and running in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Daniel Lyons, East Christchurch Shirley (Cant) v University Grange (Otago), National Club Cricket Championship.


The bank sponsors both sports and is setting up a community grant scheme whereby clubs can apply for financial help for anything from uniforms to gear to help with ground maintenance.

Antonia Watson, ANZ New Zealand chief executive said conversations with each sporting body highlighted how badly community sport had been impacted in recent months.

"For most New Zealanders, life as we knew it stopped a few months ago, and that included Kiwi kids' Saturday morning sport," she said.

"We want to help remove the financial barrier to help ensure as many Kiwi kids get back to playing netball and cricket safely, and as soon as possible."

Ben Smith won't play Super Rugby

Former All Black Ben Smith says he won't be returning to Super Rugby.

Ben Smith of the Highlanders.

Ben Smith Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Smith had been mentioned in a group of players that could attempt to return to the New Zealand game after the coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand is the first country in the world to start up a rugby competition again with Super Rugby Aotearoa to start play next month.

However the former Highlander star says he won't be a part of it.

"I'm not sure where the speculation has come from, but I won't be playing in this years competition," he said on Instagram.

"I'm looking forward to getting alongside my club side in Green Island and getting back to grassroots where it all started."

Smith joined French club Pau after last year's World Cup.

Arthur Summons dies

The Australian sporting community is mourning the death of dual-international Arthur Summons, who died over the weekend, aged 84.

NRL Trophy

NRL trophy Photo: Photosport

Summons is immortalised in the iconic 'Gladiators' photo with rival Norm Provan that is depicted in the NRL premiership trophy.

He played 10 rugby union Tests for the Wallabies between 1954-59 as a flyhalf, which included a rare triumph over New Zealand on the road.

He then switched to the paid ranks of league with Western Suburbs and quickly made his mark in the 13-man code with a Kangaroos call-up in 1961.

He played nine Tests, including five undefeated as skipper, while he also coached the country to their first Ashes win on Great Britain soil in 1963.

After the last of Wests' three straight grand final losses to St George in 1963, he was snapped embracing equally mud-spattered rival skipper Provan at the SCG.

The image was used to sculpture the Winfield Cup trophy in 1982, before the prize was renamed the Provan-Summons trophy on the 50th anniversary of the photo.


Bayern win on their return

Champions Bayern Munich scored a goal late in each half to beat promoted Union Berlin 2-0 on their return to the Bundesliga after more than two months out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and protect their four-point lead at the top.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich.


League top scorer Robert Lewandowski converted a 40th minute spot kick and Benjamin Pavard headed in a corner in the 80th in an empty stadium, to keep the Bavarians in the driving seat for a record-extending eighth successive league title.

They are now on 58 points, with Borussia Dortmund in second place on 54 following their 4-0 demolition of Schalke 04 yesterday. There are eight matchdays left in the season.

The Bundesliga is the first major sports league in the world to restart amid the pandemic but games are played without fans.

Cologne and Mainz drew 2-2 in the days other game.


Chileshe takes squash title

19 year old Temwa Chileshe has won the opening tournament of the Squash Premier League, the first tournament to return to action following the coronaviris pandemic.

Chileshe and his final opponent, Joel Arscott have both made the SquashXL centre in Avondale, Auckland their home over the past eight weeks in a bid to be able to practice, play matches and train in a dedication to the game the want to make a career out of.

The training obviously helped as they clashed in the final which although not having PSA world ranking points on offer their was prizemoney and the valuable time on court playing competition matches.

Chileshe won 3-1.

Air Jordans fetch almost a million dollars

NBA great Michael Jordan's autographed match-worn sneakers from his rookie season fetched a record $943,000 in an online auction.

Michael Jordan.


The Air Jordan 1s, designed for Jordan in 1985 and the first ever signature sneakers, were expected to fetch between $150,000 to $300,000 in the auction.

Known for selling multimillion-dollar art, Sotheby's held its first auction dedicated entirely to sneakers last year and had then set a world record of $737,000 for a pair of 1972 Nike running shoes known as the "Moon Shoe."

Like most of Jordan's basketball shoes, they are a mismatched pair in a size 13 (left) and size 13.5 (right).

The auction coincided with the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan brand and the screening of the 10-part ESPN documentary "The Last Dance" about the Chicago Bulls and Jordan.

The shoes were sold by collector Jordan Geller, the founder of the sneaker museum Shoezeum in Las Vegas.


Park wins KLPGA event

Park Hyun-kyung won the KLPGA Championship title as women's golf in South Korea joined the country's professional baseball and soccer leagues to restart amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Park signed off with a second successive round of 67 to erase a three-shot deficit and triumph by one stroke in the tour's first event since December.

Overnight leader Lim Hee-jeong (71) and Bae Seon-woo (68) shared second place at 16-under 272 in the event played without spectators at the Lakewood Country Club in Yangju.

Park pocketed $300,000 for her maiden KLPGA victory in her second year on the tour.

It was an unusual experience for those at the Lakewood Country Club, which was open only to players, caddies, officials and media.

Caddies wore masks, players dined separately and fist and elbow bumps replaced post-round hugs and handshakes over the last four days.

Next month's men's Korea Open, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, was cancelled on Friday owing to the pandemic.


UEFA has plan to end season

European football's governing body UEFA has a plan to finish the 2019-20 season by August, including the Champions League and Europa League campaigns.

The majority of European league seasons were suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but a few leagues have announced plans for a restart in the coming weeks.

The French and Dutch top-flight campaigns have been cancelled but the German Bundesliga restarted over the weekend and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expects at least 80% of national leagues to finish their seasons.

Both the Champions League and Europa League are yet to complete their last-16 matches.

Paris St Germain, who were declared Ligue 1 champions, are looking to play their Champions League games abroad after the French government said professional sports would not be allowed to return before September.

Euro 2020, scheduled to be hosted in 12 cities across Europe, has been postponed until next year.


NFL players released

Two NFL players being held on armed robbery charges in Florida have been released from jail after posting bond.

Broward County Judge Michael Davis set the bond for New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker at $337,000 and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar at $168,000, according to reports.

Prosecutors had requested Baker and Dunbar be held without bond. The two men turned themselves in yesterday in response to arrest warrants.

Baker was charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Dunbar faces four armed robbery charges.

The alleged robbery occurred during a gathering at a home in Miramar, Fla., last week. At some point, an argument erupted at a card table, at which point Baker and Dunbar allegedly both brandished guns and robbed attendees of money and personal belongings. According to a witness, a third person -- identified only as wearing a red mask -- also took part in the robbery.