11 Aug 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

12:07 pm on 11 August 2020

Latest - The New Zealand cyclist Patrick Bevan has signed with Israeli pro team ISN for the next two years.

Patrick Bevin is looking forward to a break after a frustrating and testing year.

Patrick Bevin is looking forward to a break after a frustrating and testing year. Photo: Photosport

The team, which was founded in 2014, is building a team around 7-time grand tour winner Chris Froome.

Bevin, who is seen as a time trial specialist, is the latest signing which last week included South African Darryl Impey.

ISN team manager Kjell Carlstrom says Bevin is an experienced proven rider who can make an immediate impact.

29 year old Bevin currently rides for the Polish CCC team.

He finished fourth in the time trial at last year's World Championships.

-Team ISN

United into semi-finals

Manchester United are through to the Europa League football semi finals after a 1-nil extra time win over stubborn Copenhagen FC side.

Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty in the 95th minute.

United, will play either Sevilla or Wolverhampton Wanderers, who square off tomorrow for a spot in the final.

Inter Milan also booked a semi-final berth by beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in the day's other tie as the mini-tournament played across Germany on a one-off knockout basis got underway.

Rugby Australia wants 5 teams in Super Rugby

Rugby Australia is continuing to work towards having five Super Rugby teams involved in any competition next year.

Mitch Short of the Waratahs feeds the scrum at round 3 of Super Rugby AU between NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies on July 18, 2020


Last month New Zealand Rugby proposed an eight team competition involving the five New Zealand sides, two from Australia and one from the Pacific Islands.

However Rugby Australia has put out to tender a five year broadcast package that includes a Super Eight competition involving the top two teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a team from Japan and South America.

It would follow various Super Rugby competitions.

CEO Rob Clarke said Rugby AU would not be budging on its commitment to field five Australian teams going forward and "D Day" was coming for New Zealand Rugby around its desire for a trans-Tasman competition model or otherwise.

"We have put a deadline for broadcast submissions of the fourth of September and before we enter into any final negotiations with a broadcast partner this has to be settled," he said.

If New Zealand opts against agreeing to a trans-Tasman competition with five Australian and five New Zealand teams, Clarke said Australia would continue discussions with Japan and also the Pacific Island nations around having teams in Australia's tournament.

Mediaworks get Black Caps and White Ferns

New Zealand celebrate after getting the wicket of Mooney during the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup match between New Zealand v Australia.

Photo: Photosport

There will be free live to air radio commentary of all Black Caps and White Ferns matches in New Zealand with New Zealand Cricket and MediaWorks agreeing to a three year rights deal.

The deal means there will be live, ball-by-ball audio commentary on Magic Talk and Mediaworks on-line streaming app Rova.

The West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Australian men and women's teams are all scheduled to visit New Zealand this summer.

There will also be some domestic cricket games broadcast.

In February New Zealand Cricket and NZME failed to reach a deal on radio rights meaning Radio Sport, which had broadcast cricket for more than 20 years, would no longer do so.

Kuznetsova not going to New York

Former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has joined a growing list of players who have decided not to play in this year's tournament due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Russian tennis player Svetlana Kuznetsova.


The Russian world number 32 announced her decision on Instagram where she also said she would skip the Western & Southern Open which is being held in New York this year instead of Cincinnati as a lead-up to the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 U.S. Open.

The 35-year-old Kuznetsova beat compatriot Elena Dementieva in the 2004 U.S. Open final to win the first of her two career Grand Slam titles.

In her most recent New York appearance, Kuznetsova suffered a shock first-round defeat to teenage qualifier Kristie Ahn in 2019 after having struggled for much of the last year with a wrist injury.

World number one Ash Barty, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens are among the other leading players who have also decided to skip this year's U.S. Open because of the virus.


IPL confirmed for UAE

India's cricket board has received government permission to stage this year's Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates.

The BCCI had earlier announced the popular Twenty20 competition, which could not begin in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, would be played in the UAE from Sept. 19, subject to government approval.

The matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi as India continues to grapple with the pandemic with cases surging past 2.2 million on Monday and over 44,000 dead.

It is not the first time that the popular competition will be held outside India.

The 2009 edition took place in South Africa as it coincided with India's elections and the UAE hosted the early matches of the eight-team tournament five years later for the same reason.


Eden Park a sell out

The final match of Super Rugby Aotearoa between the Blues and the Crusaders is a sell out.

Fans and supporters.
Blues v Chiefs, Super Rugby Aotearoa. Eden Park, Auckland,2020.


Blues chief executive Andrew Hore confirmed all 43,236 tickets for Sunday's game at Eden Park have been snapped up despite the Crusaders already wrapping up the title at the weekend with a 32-22 win over the Highlanders.

All five of the country's Super Rugby teams have reported an increase in crowd numbers, providing a welcome boost for their finances after the COVID-19 shutdown.

The Highlanders host the Hurricanes in the other game this weekend.


Atletico still heading to Champions League despite positive tests

Atletico Madrid's fears of further disruption to their trip to the Champions League 'Final Eight' tournament in Lisbon have been eased after the rest of the squad tested negative for Covid-19, following two positives the previous day.

The Spanish club's morning training session was postponed due to the positive cases and their plans to travel to Lison were put on hold, but the club said in a statement they would have one final session before flying out on Tuesday, a day later than planned.

The statement revealed that the two players to test positive were forward Angel Correa and injured defender Sime Vrsjalko, who will miss the trip and were isolating at home, adding that the pair were both asymptomatic.

Atletico, who are bidding to win the competition for the first time after falling in the 2014 and 2016 finals, face German side RB Leipzig on Thursday in the quarter-finals, hoping to set up a last-four meeting with Paris St Germain or Atalanta.


Tyson-Jones Jnr bout delayed

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson's exhibition bout against Roy Jones Jr. has been pushed back to Nov. 28 from Sept. 12, The Ring magazine has said.

The eight-round fight, which will be part of a three-hour pay per view event shown on virtual social media and music platform Triller, had been moved because Tyson's camp felt they could maximize revenue by rescheduling, the report added.

Tyson teased fans about a possible return in May when the 54-year-old posted videos of himself training.

The 51-year-old Jones, who has simultaneously held a record seven belts, last fought in 2018.


No crowds at Le Mans

This year's postponed Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race will be run without spectators in September due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The French race, usually held in June at the Sarthe circuit and now in its 88th edition, was attended by 250,000 people in 2019, with a large number coming from Britain.

Toyota are defending champions.

New Zealanders Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber teamed up in a Porsche to win the race in 2017.


MotoGP season to end in Portugal

MotoGP will end its 2020 season in Portugal with an extra race to be run on its reserve track in Portimao on Nov. 22.

The Algarve International Circuit will host MotoGP's first race in Portugal since 2012 and will see KTM Tech 3 rider Miguel Oliveira race on home turf in the premier class for the first time.

The original 2020 season was set to be the longest in MotoGP's history, with 20 rounds beginning in Qatar and ending in Valencia. But several races have been axed since the Qatar opener due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Racing restarted last month with back-to-back events at the Jerez circuit in Spain, which is hosting seven of the 14 races in the revised European calendar. Circuits in Austria and Italy are set to host double-headers.

Fabio Quartararo of Petronas Yamaha leads the world championship standings with 59 points after three rounds, while Maverick Vinales of Yamaha is second, 17 points behind.