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Ashes: Andy Flower has faith in batsman Alastair Cook

England coach Andy Flower has played down concerns over opening batsman Alastair Cook’s lack of form ahead of the Ashes series. Cook scored only five and nine in the warm-up win over Western Australia. “I don’t have concerns,” said Flower. “It’s one game, two innings. I think he’s going to […]

FA rejects Mario Balotelli red card appeal

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli will miss three matches after the Football Association rejected the club’s appeal against his sending-off at West Brom. The Italian international was shown a straight red card for seemingly kicking Youssuf Mulumbu during City’s 2-0 win. Balotelli, 20, will be banned for the Manchester derby on […]

Injured Darren Bent out of England game against France

Sunderland striker Darren Bent will miss England’s friendly against France on 17 November after a scan showed he has a grade one hamstring injury. Bent is set to be sidelined for up to three weeks with the problem, suffered before Saturday’s win over Stoke. The 26-year-old, who had not previously […]

Rory McIlroy to focus on European Tour rather than PGA

Rory McIlroy is returning to the European Tour rather than play on the PGA Tour in the United States. Ranked ninth in the world, the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland says his part in Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team in October helped make his decision. “There was camaraderie out there and […]

Arsene Wenger backs Andy Carroll for England

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is good enough to play for England. Striker Carroll, 21, scored his side’s winner against Wenger’s side on Sunday as he impressed in front of watching England boss Fabio Capello. “I think so,” said Wenger when asked if Carroll was ready […]

Rafael Nadal expects to play in London ATP Tour Finals

Rafael Nadal expects to be fit for the ATP World Tour finals in London despite withdrawing from the Paris Masters with tendinitis in his left shoulder. The 24-year-old Spaniard, who will end the year as world number one, said: “I am not worried at all about London. “It was not […]

Italy defeat US to retain Fed Cup title

Holders Italy won their third Fed Cup in five years with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over the United States. Flavia Pennetta secured the decisive point, beating Coco Vandeweghe 6-1 6-2 in San Diego, meaning the final doubles rubber need not be played. Italy had opened up a 2-0 lead after […]

Rubens Barrichello backs Williams team-mate Hulkenberg

Rubens Barrichello says his Williams team-mate Nico Hulkenberg deserves to keep his seat in 2011 after the rookie snatched pole in Brazil. There are question marks over the future of both drivers, with GP2 champion Hulkenberg strongly linked to a seat at the team next year. But Barrichello said: “I […]