Archive for August, 2019

Marsh out, Hughes in for Sth African tour

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Injured batsman Shaun Marsh has been withdrawn from Australia’s Test Squad for the tour of South Africa.

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Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday advised that Phillip Hughes had been recalled to the 15-man squad to replace Marsh.

National selector John Inverarity said: “As Shaun Marsh’s calf injury has not improved as much as required over the past four days, he has been withdrawn from the Test squad …

“Phillip Hughes had been placed on standby and now comes into the Test squad as a replacement for Shaun. Phillip will head to South Africa as soon as possible.”

Flight details are yet to be confirmed for Hughes who was initially overlooked for selection.

Marsh injured his calf in the Australian ODI win over England and the left-hander had been in Perth receiving treatment.

Earlier on Thursday, fast bowler Jackson Bird was a confirmed starter for the three-Test tour starting on February 12.

Bird will fly to South Africa on Friday alongside Moises Henriques, after successfully proving he’s recovered from jarring his back in a Big Bash League game last week.

The Tasmanian quick was held back to see if he could get through back-to-back days of net bowling before being given the green light to tour and provide back-up for Australia’s Ashes-winning attack.

Bird was put through his paces in the nets in Hobart on Wednesday, under the supervision of Australian coach Darren Lehmann and national selection panel member Rod Marsh.

The 27-year-old returned home early from last year’s Ashes tour of the UK with a back problem and, as a precaution, he was pulled out of a scheduled second XI game on Monday and his flight to South Africa delayed.

Glory years relived at Ponting tribute

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It read like a scorecard from Australian cricket’s glory years a decade ago.

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Make that two decades. And without the AFL players.

Hayden 64, Gilchrist 40, Healy 17, Jones 4, Hughes 0-25.

And Petrie – as in North Melbourne’s Drew – 38 from 15 balls.

Star of the show Ricky Ponting hobbled to 83 not out after appearing to injure his groin while batting, and being ‘dropped’ at least a couple of times.

“Ricky Ponting’s 80 is a world-record score in Ricky Ponting tribute matches,” the ground announcer declared.

The Twenty20 celebration might have been Launceston’s biggest night, 17,771 turning out to thank the boy from working class suburb Mowbray.

They packed Aurora Stadium, which sits a stone’s throw from the club ground Ponting lit up as a kid.

Wearing Mowbray’s maroon and yellow, the 39-year-old’s side included Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Ian Healy, Dean Jones – and Richmond great Matthew Richardson.

The opposition, captained by Adam Gilchrist, boasted Michael Hussey, Justin Langer, Merv Hughes and some bloke batting at No.4 called Jarryd Roughead.

Ponting’s side made 6-207 in reply to the Gilchrist line-up’s 6-206, and the former Test skipper’s foundation an estimated $200,000.

Showmen Jones and Hughes hammed it up for the crowd, and the AFL contingent showed the game designed to keep cricketers fit in winter might still do that.

Kangaroo Petrie smashed four straight sixes in his knock, although the bowler was Hayden, while Roughead hit a full-pace Brett Lee ball over the boundary.

“It will help every family and every child suffering childhood cancer in Tasmania,” Ponting said.

The match had proved eventful before it even began, with three players pulling out.

Phil Hughes was waiting on a phone call to tell him he’d be joining Australia’s Test squad in South Africa.

Andrew Symonds was stranded by Cyclone Dylan in north Queensland.

And luckless former Test gloveman Tim Paine, whose career was interrupted for two years by a broken finger suffered in an exhibition match, was hospitalised after an insect bite.

The Tasmanian was recovering after he was bitten while walking his dog on a beach but expected to be fit for the Hobart Hurricanes’ Big Bash semi-final next week.

Doctors bringing Schumacher out of coma

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Michael Schumacher’s doctors have started the process of bringing the former Formula One champion out of the coma he has been in since a skiing accident a month ago.

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The 45-year-old suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his helmet on a rock in the French resort of Meribel on December 29.

The seven-time F1 champion has been in an induced coma in Grenoble University Hospital since then, although his condition stabilised following surgery after initially being described as critical.

And now doctors are slowly trying to wake him up.

“Michael’s sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process which may take a long time,” Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement on Thursday.

One reason for reducing the sedation is to see if the swelling has gone down in the patient’s brain and to assess what level of functions has been retained.

Kehm said she was only providing an update now on Schumacher’s condition to clarify media leaks, and that no further details would be provided.

French newspaper l’Equipe first reported on Wednesday that doctors had started waking Schumacher.

“The family of Michael Schumacher is again requesting to respect its privacy and the medical secret, and to not disturb the doctors treating Michael in their work,” Kehm said.

“At the same time, the family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the worldwide sympathy. … For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated. Please note that no further updates will be given.”

Schumacher was being kept artificially sedated and his body temperature was lowered to between 34 and 35 degrees Celsius, to reduce swelling in the brain, reduce its energy consumption and allow it to rest.

Schumacher earned universal acclaim for his uncommon and sometimes ruthless driving talent, which led to a record 91 race wins. He retired from Formula One in 2012 after garnering an unmatched seven world titles.

New app the ‘ultimate networking tool’

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Walk into a room of people, and your smartphone can tell if you have a connection to any of them, if it can find the right data.

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A social networking app called SocialRadar, released on Thursday, analyses smartphone users’ social networks including Facebook and Twitter, and correlates that with location data, to let people know in real time about their connections to those around them.

The app aggregates and merges data from top social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and Google+ with live location information from smartphones.

This enables users to find colleagues, friends, and friends of friends if they are connected on one of the networks.

This means you can see in real time the people around you with whom you share a connection across several services.

“There are over a billion people with smartphones, and more than two billion social media profiles in the cloud, but no intersection of that information,” says SocialRadar founder and chief executive Michael Chasen.

Chasen, 41, who founded the education software tool Blackboard in 1997 and sold it in 2011 for $US1.70 billion ($A1.95 billion), says SocialRadar can be useful for business networking as well as for socialising.

“I can walk into a restaurant and find three people I’m connected to,” Chasen told AFP in an interview in SocialRadar’s office in downtown Washington.

“All this is in the cloud if you can connect this information.”

Chasen said he believes SocialRadar may be used for dating, “but I think it will be used for business too. It is the ultimate networking tool”.

SocialRadar has been released in North America for the iOS platform for iPhones, and a version is in the works for Android and for Google Glass – which would enable users to get information delivered for easy viewing.

Athletes warned not to wear big country logos to Sochi

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Britain has joined the United States in cautioning athletes and officials against wearing “overtly branded” clothing en route to Sochi where the athletes’ village opens on Thursday.

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Security at the Winter Games is expected to be tight with the potential threat of an attack on Sochi, which lies on the western edge of the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, scene of an insurgency aiming to create an Islamist state.

A spokeswoman for the British Olympic Association (BOA) said its 56 athletes and 64 officials were advised to travel in items from their 111-piece team kit with small, discrete logos.

“While we have not received any information or advice suggesting an increase in the threat level, we are taking a common-sense approach in recommending that team members wear less overtly branded Team GB kit during their journey to Sochi,” the BOA spokeswoman said.

“This advice is similar to guidance being offered to other delegations by their respective National Olympic Committees.”

Concern about potential attacks on the February 7-23 Games has heightened in the wake of twin suicide bombings last month in the city of Volgograd, about 700 km (400 miles) northeast of Sochi, which killed 34 people.

British officials have warned that further attacks were likely and could take place anywhere in Russia.

The U.S. Olympic Committee, which is sending the largest team to Sochi, with 230 athletes, issued a travel memo advising against wearing conspicuous Team USA gear outside the secure Olympic compound, such as the red, white, and blue cardigan with stars and stripes designed by Ralph Lauren.

“The U.S. Department of State has advised that wearing conspicuous Team USA clothing in non-accredited areas may put your personal safety at greater risk,” said the memo, widely reported in the U.S. media.

Officials caution athletes about safety at every Olympics but the BOA spokeswoman could not recall previous cautions about not wearing branded team kit.

Countries competing at Sochi are taking various measures to ensure the safety of their athletes and spectators.

While France’s delegation has not received cautions over kit, its 116 athletes will receive extra protection at Sochi from French national police and gendarmerie special operations units, sports minister Valerie Fourneyron said on Thursday.

This comes on top of the 37,000 personnel on combat alert deployed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We have done some preparatory work with our experts and everything has been done to make sure our athletes and fans are safe,” Fourneyron told daily Le Parisien. “There will be maximal vigilance.”

About 6,000 athletes, coaches and officials from around 90 countries will take part in events at Sochi ranging from Alpine skiing to ice hockey and snowboarding.

(Additional reporting by Julien Pretot in Paris, Editing by Justin Palmer)