11-12-2018 Dani Rowe: Olympic cyclist fractures foot a week after retiring

For Olympic gold medallist Dani Rowe retirement is off to a painful start - walking on crutches with one foot in a surgical boot.

11-12-2018 NFL: Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson gets play very wrong against Minnesota Vikings

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson endures a nightmare play against the Minnesota Vikings, but did eventually recover to lead his team to a 21-7 win on Monday night.

11-12-2018 The Fiver | Places up for grabs at the very top of European football’s top table

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!With 12 teams already through to the knockout stages of Big Cup, there are just four more places up for grabs at the very top of European football’s top table. If Spurs are to snaffle one, they will have to complete the relatively routine task of beating Barcelona away from home, a feat they have never managed in one previous attempt. That was back in 1982 when Danish midfielder Alan Simonsen, who had previously – and rather weirdly – been the unwitting target of a sniper in Danish movie thriller named Skytten, scored the only goal of the game to send the Spanish side through to the final of Now Defunct Cup Winners’ Pot in 1982. In Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, modern-day Spurs have their own diminutive Danish maestro and crack marksman and their supporters will be hoping both men have their eye in on Tuesday. If Inter beat PSV, as many expect them to, only a win will do for Spurs if they are to join their hosts in Uefa’s last-16 tombola. Continue reading...

11-12-2018 The Spin | Big Bash’s flipping bats recall stories of cunning ploys with tossed coins

When you look closely at the ritual, it begins to seem odd that cricket lets blind luck and ‘dynamical bias’ play such a large partWhen he was 14, Persi Diaconis packed a fresh deck of cards and a spare pair of socks into a knapsack and ran away from home to become a magician’s assistant. He spent the next few years apprenticing with Dai Vernon, whose sleight of hand was so smart, so sharp, that he even beat Harry Houdini, who famously claimed he could pick any magic trick on the third go, until Vernon fooled him seven times in a row. They used to call Vernon ‘the Professor’, and now they do Diaconis, too. Because that’s what he is. The Mary V Sunseri Professor of Statistics and Mathematics, to be exact, at Stanford, where he’s been continuing his lifelong study of chance and probability.Diaconis made his name studying card shuffling, but he’s also done a lot of work on the one part of a cricket match no one ever really stops to think about. The coin toss. “When was the last time anyone watched the coin toss or really focused on it?” says the head of the Big Bash, Kim McConnie. Which is why, this season, captains in the Big Bash won’t be tossing coins but bats, “specially weighted to make sure that it is 50-50”. They’ll be calling “hills or flats”, just like children playing backyard cricket. McConnie says: “We’re making it much more relevant to families, we are creating a moment which is much more fitting with kids.” Continue reading...

11-12-2018 Hockey World Cup: England 2-0 New Zealand - highlights

England beat New Zealand 2-0 with goals from Will Calnan and Luke Taylor, to set up a quarter-final against Olympic champions Argentina on Wednesday.

11-12-2018 Football transfer rumours: Liverpool to snap up Thorgan Hazard?

Today’s tittle-tattle is delaying the inevitableCiggie-loving Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is blowing heart-shaped smoke rings in the direction of Napoli full-back Elseid Hysaj, according to the Daily Star. Despite an initial reluctance to allow the 24-year-old Albanian to move to Stamford Bridge during the summer, reports in Italy say Napoli’s president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has now sanctioned a deal that could see Hysaj make the switch in a transaction worth £50m to the Serie A club. In more worrying news for Sarri, Eden Hazard remains typically noncommittal about his future at Chelsea, but has said talks about a new contract with his current employers have broken down. Meanwhile in Germany, Hazard’s brother Thorgan, a midfielder with Borussia Möchengladbach, is being linked with a January move to Liverpool. Related: Jürgen Klopp urges Liverpool ‘to put right our mistake’ against Napoli Continue reading...

11-12-2018 David Squires on … the mistreatment of Raheem Sterling

Our cartoonist on why it’s hard to exaggerate the vilification Raheem Sterling has been subjected to in recent yearsIf you like David’s cartoons, buy his book Goalless Draws Continue reading...

11-12-2018 The Spin | 81 declared: a tale of torrential rain and two extraordinary Tests

In only two Test matches have both captains declared with a score below 150 and both involved England and plenty of rainIn only two Test matches have both captains declared with scores below 150 and in those games, by definition extraordinary, the higher of those totals was a mere 81. Both involved England and both had one other thing in common: rain, plenty of it, and pitches at best partially protected and massively affected.The two third-innings declarations remain the two lowest such totals in the history of Test cricket and they set the two lowest fourth-innings, post-declaration targets ever, though one was almost three times as big as the other. Continue reading...

11-12-2018 Stuart Lancaster insists England return has never crossed his mind

• ‘I’ve never spoken to Nigel Melville,’ says Leinster coach• Lancaster’s contract in Ireland ends next yearStuart Lancaster has revealed he has not given any thought to the prospect of replacing Eddie Jones for a second spell as the England coach.Lancaster’s contract with Leinster runs out at the end of the season and, while he confirmed the province has opened talks over an extension, a place on Andy Farrell’s coaching ticket with Ireland has also been mooted. Continue reading...

11-12-2018 Johnny Sexton: Ireland and Leinster fly-half signs new IRFU contract

Lions fly-half Johnny Sexton signs a new deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union and will play for Ireland and Leinster until 2021.