6 Aug 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:36 am on 6 August 2020

The Stars and Stripes syndicate may not take part in next year's America's Cup in New Zealand after having a request to use a Team New Zealand boat turned down.

The America's Cup and the Prada Cup  in Newport 2019


Stars and Stripes had wanted to use Team New Zealand's first generation AC75 boat Te Aihe in the Challenger series.

However the America's Cup Arbitration Panel has upheld their protocols that a boat must be built in the country of the entrant.

Te Aihe is only half built and won't be used by Team New Zealand during the America's Cup in March.

There are no reports that Stars and Stripes has built it's own boat and it appears time is now running out for them to compete.

That would leave just three challengers for the Cup.... Luna Rossa, American Magic and Team UK.

Devine changes team

White Ferns captain Sophie Devine is changing teams in the Australian women's Big Bash.

Sophie Devine

Sophie Devine Photo: Photosport

Devine has moved from the Adelaide Strikers to the Perth Scorchers joining up with Australian star Beth Mooney at the top of the order.

Devine will also captain the side in the T20 competition.

Devine has been one of the in-form players in the world over the last 18 months and was the player of the tournament in last season's WBBL where she scored 769 runs and took 19 wickets for the Adelaide Strikers.

"It's a huge honour to be joining the Scorchers and leading the side this season, it's an exciting new challenge for me and the team as we build towards the WBBL finals," she said. "When the opportunity to play for Perth came up it was a pretty hard one to turn down, the Scorchers have a great history in the WBBL and BBL and I'm really looking forward to joining such a successful club.

Meanwhile fellow-White Ferns Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green have re-signed with the Brisbane Heat.


Horror crash mars Tour of Poland

The Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen has been put in a medically-induced coma after crashing at the finish line on stage one of the Tour of Poland.

He was jostling for position with compatriot Dylan Groenewegen in the final metres when they cam together and Jokobsen crashed into the barriers and collided with a race official.

Groenewegen, who is the team-mate of New Zealander George Bennett, was disqualified from the race for causing the crash with the UCI issuing a statement strongly condemning what it called his "dangerous behaviour."

Groenewegen now faces disciplinary action.

Bennett isn't competing in the tour.


Williams hangs up his boots

The former Blues forward Nick Williams has announced his retirement from rugby after a 16 year professional career.

Nick Williams of Cardiff Blues.


The 36 year old first played for North Harbour and he Blues in 2004 before moving to Ireland in 2008.

The number eight also played in Italy before returning to Ireland and then playing the last four years at the Cardiff Blues.

Williams said: "It's sad not to have had one last run out at the Arms Park but with Covid-19, and everything that has come with it, there have been much bigger things to worry about. It is what it is.

"I have been blessed to play this game for so long and could never have imagined I would be a professional for 16 years and travel to so many brilliant places around the world.

"Winning the European Challenge Cup a couple of years ago is an obvious highlight but I will also just miss the day to day and being with the boys around the place."

-Cardiff Blues

US Open purse cut

U.S. Open tennis singles winners will receive $1.2 million less prize money this year, with first-round prize money increasing.

Arthur Ashe Stadium with the new roof in place during the US Open Tennis Tournament.


The Grand Slam, which begins on Aug. 31 in New York, will take place without fans and some of the sports' biggest stars, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak across the United States.

The $80 million total prize pool is down from last year's $86 million pot, the richest in the tournament's history, with 2020 first-round prize money jumping 5% to $91,000 from $87,000. Singles winners will receive $4.5 million, down from $5.8 million in 2019.

Additionally, USTA said it was donating another $10 million in monetary relief for players who have seen their earnings decline after the global viral outbreak upended the professional calendar.

Defending champion Rafa Nadal and women's world number one Ash Barty are among those who have decided to skip the event, citing concerns about the coronavirus.

The United States has more than 4.79 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 157,000 people have died.


Phoenix held to a draw

The Wellington Phoenix have locked in an A-League play-off spot after a 1-1 draw with Brsibane in Newcastle.

A dejected looking Gary Hooper.


Veteran Scott McDonald opened the scoring for Brisbane in the 61st minute before Gary Hooper equalised in the 82nd.

The result took Wellington to 41 points, ensuring they cannot drop out of the top six.

However they remain third with one game left and will need to win that and hope Melbourne City fall over to make the top two.

The Pheonix did have a number of other scoring chances.

"We're pleased with the reaction the players showed tonight," Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said.

"I think we created enough chances to win the game to be honest; I thought we played well."

Hooper injured his hamstring while scoring but played out the game.

Wellington play Newcastle in eight days to wrap up their regular season.


Rain hits first Test

Babar Azam struck an unbeaten half-century as Pakistan closed a rain-shorted first day of the first cricket test against England on 139 for two at Old Trafford.

Pakistan batsman Babar Azam.


Babar (69 not out) showed all his skill and class to weather an early storm from the England bowlers, and wrestle away the initiative along with the more sedate opener Shan Masood (46 not out).

England were superb before lunch, heading into the interval with Pakistan on 53 for two, but wayward and tepid after the break as the tourists piled on 68 runs in 16.1 overs before rain brought an early tea.

The players came back late in the day for 7.5 overs, but bad light meant England had to bowl spinners Dom Bess and Joe Root, and Pakistan were able to see off their threat.

Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat, with England captain Root admitting he would have done the same, hopeful of utilising a wearing wicket late in the game that is expected to take turn.

It is for that reason they have selected a pair of leg-spinners in Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah, but will want to give them something to bowl at by building a sizeable first innings total.


Barrett stays with Hurricanes

Jordie Barrett has confirmed his commitment to the Hurricanes for the 2021 season.

Jordie Barrett of the Hurricanes.


The news comes as the Wellington-based Super Rugby side gets set to play their final home game of the year against the Chiefs at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

Head coach, Jason Holland, says Barrett has been crucial to their success this season that has them third on the Super Rugby Aotearoa table.

"Jordie has become an integral part of this Hurricanes squad. Off the field, he holds massive respect and has excellent input into how we play. On the field, he has taken his game to the top level and has thrived on the added responsibility bestowed upon him this season."

Since his debut in 2017, 23 year old Barrett has earned 57 caps for the Hurricanes, tallying 343 points through his 15 tries, 71 conversions and 42 penalties.

Darwin Supercars postponed

This weekend's Supercars round in Darwin has been pushed back a week because of Northern Territories demands regarding coronavirus safety.

Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin at the 2019 Darwin Triple Crown SuperSprint Event.


The Darwin Triple Crown had been set to go ahead this weekend, but will now take place on the August 15-16 weekend, with the second round of the double-header, the Darwin SuperSprint moved to a to-be-confirmed date later in the month.

Team personnel arrived in Darwin yesterday and those who have visited areas deemed hotspots by the NT Government will be managed in hotel isolation until early next week.

At that point, those people will be allowed to finish their quarantine period provided they return a negative COVID-19 test.

The Townsville SuperSprint is scheduled for August 29-30.

Before then, the Darwin Triple Crown will become the third Supercars event to run since the Covid-19 shutdown, following two rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park in June and July.

Two-time defending champion, New Zealander Scott McLaughlin has a 107-point series lead.


Arsenal lay off staff

Less than a week after winning the FA Cup to secure their place in next season's Europa League and as they negotiate a multi-million pound contract extension with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal have announced plans to layoff 55 staff.

Emirates Stadium. Home of Arsenal FC.


The club said that the cuts were the result of the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The announcement sparked an immediate social media backlash from fans contrasting the huge sums involved with keeping key players to the lost jobs of staff at the north London outfit.

The club said they had done all they could to reduce costs, including players, senior staff and executive team members taking voluntary pay cuts, adding "but it is now clear that we must reduce our costs further to ensure we are operating in a sustainable and responsible way.

Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League but their record 14th FA Cup triumph last weekend ensured another year of European football and the possibility of earning up to $80 million in the Europa League.

Arsenal are also bidding to lure Chelsea forward Willian to the club, also on a huge weekly wage, while local media reports this week say they are offering striker Aubameyang a $600,000 a week deal to extend his contract.