Cricketer KEVIN PIETERSEN is expected to return to the England team for the four-Test tour of India in November, according to Andy Wilson of the London GUARDIAN. Pietersen will spend much of the next month flying back-and-forth from the Champions League Twenty20 competition in South Africa to hold "clear-the-air meetings" with the other players and the management as part of a "reintegration process." Pietersen was welcomed back into the England fold at a press conference in a Colombo hotel Wednesday. Pietersen and England and Wales Cricket Board Chair GILES CLARKE issued similar statements to confirm that they have begun a "process for reintegrated" with a two-hour meeting, which will now be followed by a series of further meetings between Pietersen and other key figures in the England set-up. Team Dir ANDY FLOWER will "manage that process," and decide whether and when Pietersen is "ready for consideration" by the national selector GEOFF MILLER -- which will also trigger a new 12-month contract to run until next October (GUARDIAN, 10/3). The BBC reported that Pietersen dropped in August for sending "provocative" text messages to opposing players during the Test series against South Africa. Pietersen, who now has a central contract which could be extended until next September, apologised to former captain ANDREW STRAUSS, and the ECB "accepts the texts were not derogatory about him" (BBC, 10/3).
People and Pop Culture
Defending F1 world champion, Red Bull driver SEBASTIAN VETTEL, said that seven-time world champion MICHAEL SCHUMACHER "should continue driving," according to BILD. Schumacher, whose contract with Mercedes will not be extended at the end of the season, "has not yet commented on his future." Vettel said, "To have him [Schumacher] in the series, helps us and the sport to increase awareness." He added: "He is the biggest name that we have in F1. It's always fun to drive against him. It would be be nice to have him back next year. I would be happy, but it is Michael's decision." Schumacher has "plenty of offers" (BILD, 10/3). SPIEGEL.de wrote that Daimler AG Chair DIETER ZETSCHE is sending "positive signals" toward Schumacher. Zetsche said, "I personally wish that he continues a partnership with our company after his active career." He also said that the team's disappointing performance "has not been the fault of Schumacher or his teammate NICO ROSBERG." Zetsche said, "We didn't provide both drivers with a winning car in the last three years" (SPIEGEL.de, 10/3).
League One club Bournemouth Chair EDDIE MITCHELL revealed the club "parted company with Manager PAUL GROVES and his assistant SHAUN BROOKS (London GUARDIAN, 10/3). ... Second Bundesliga club FC St. Pauli "appointed MICHAEL FRONTZECK as its new head coach." Fronzeck will succeed ANDRE SCHUBERT, who was fired after "a disappointing start to the season" (RP-ONLINE, 10/3).
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Liverpool Manager BRENDAN RODGERS has recruited former EPL Swansea Head of Sports Science RYLAND MORGANS to his coaching team. Morgans "becomes the fourth member of Rodgers’ former Liberty Stadium backroom staff" to head to Liverpool (London DAILY MAIL, 10/3). ... A Nippon Professional Baseball source said that former Manager KOJI YAMAMOTO is "now the leading candidate to manage Japan" at next March's World Baseball Classic (KYODO, 10/3). ... Freud Communications Chair MATTHEW FREUD has "waived the option to take a multi-million pound dividend payout" as his PR agency group enjoyed a 30% increase in profits thanks to client wins, including the London 2012 Olympics (London GUARDIAN, 10/3). ... South Africa captain STEVEN PIENAAR has retired from int'l football "only three months before his country hosts the Africa Cup of Nations," citing the physical toll of playing for his country and EPL club Everton. Tottenham defender BONGANI KHUMALO, "who is on loan to the Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki," will take over the captaincy (London GUARDIAN, 10/2). ... RAFAEL NADAL is scheduled to make his comeback from a knee injury in December at the Abu Dabi tournament. Nadal has not played since Wimbledon (REUTERS, 10/2). ... FC Barcelona captain CARLES PUYOL "will be out eight weeks" after dislocating his left elbow in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Benfica (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 10/3). ... Austrian Erste Bank Hockey League club HC Innsbruck "acquired Carolina Hurricanes forward ANDREAS NÖDL." The 25-year-old Austrian native "signed a contract until Nov. 4 with the Tyrol-based team" (KURIER.at, 10/2). ... Swiss National League A club HC Lugano signed Boston Bruins forward PATRICE BERGERON during the NHL lockout. The 27-year-old Canadian scored 154 goals and 289 assists in 598 NHL games (BLICK.ch, 10/3). ... NICK THIERRY, who served as the official records keeper and statistician for FINA, died at the age of 73. An inductee into the Int'l Swimming Hall of Fame in '01, Thierry's most lasting contribution to the sport was as statistician, "compiling times from meets around the world and ranking them accordingly" (SWIMMINWORLDMAGAZINE.com, 10/2). ... Britain’s London 2012 sailing Gold Medalists BEN AINSLIE and HELENA LUCAS, and Youth World and European Champion RS:X windsurfer SASKIA SILLS have all been shortlisted for the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. A total of five male and four female sailors have been shortlisted for the 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sail of the Year award, from which one male and one female winner will be decided. Ainslie’s fellow male nominees are Australia’s Olympic and World Champions in the 470, Laser and 49er classes -- MAT BELCHER-MALCOLM PAGE, TOM SLINGSBY and NATHAN OUTTERIDGE-IAIN JENSEN -- and France’s record-breaking around-the-world sailor LOICK PEYRON. In the female category, LUCAS and SILLS will be up against the Spanish Olympic Gold Medal-winning match-racing trio of TAMARA ECHEGOYEN-ANGELA PUMARIEGA-SOFIO TORO, and China’s Laser Radial Olympic Champion LIJIA XU (Royal Yachting Association). ... ROSS BOND's "messy exit from Northern United is just one of numerous changes among Wellington's top premier club coaching ranks." Bond has been replaced by THOMAS PERENARA after just one season in charge of the Porirua club's top team and despite reaching the Jubilee Cup semifinals. In fact, three of the four semifinalists "will have a new head coach next year." Champions Marist St. Pat's have "lost Coach CLAYTON MACMILLAN to the police force." Oriental Rongotai's PHIL PROCTOR, also the current Wellington Development team coach, is understood to be moving into a new role at the club after six highly successful years in charge of the premiers. And Wainuiomata is "interviewing as a matter of club policy," though Head Coach MIKE WOOLETT is expected to carry on in some capacity. Other confirmed changes are the appointment of SHANE MCLURE at Poneke and Peter Green at Petone (DOMINION POST, 9/20).
HONORED: England national football team captain STEVEN GERRARD "is to be honoured by the Football Writers’ Association" at its annual tribute dinner on Jan. 20 (London DAILY MAIL, 2/10). ... Team GB Olympians SAM MURRAY, JON SCHOFIELD, HOLLY BLEASDALE and Paralympian GRAEME BALLARD were among the faces who handed out awards at the annual MWR Lancashire Sports Awards (LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH, 10/2). ... Caversham-based rower ANNA WATKINS will be the guest of honor at a civic reception in Berkshire to honor athletes from the borough who competed in the Olympics and Paralympics. Watkins is expected to be joined by members of GB's women's hockey team and Paralympic athletes (BBC, 10/3).
DENIED ENTRY: Promoters of MIKE TYSON's visit to New Zealand will "apply for a new visa for the former heavyweight boxing champion" after the government revoked his entry permit on Wednesday. Tyson served three years of a six-year U.S. jail sentence for rape in '92 and was scheduled to take part in an event in November, but "needed dispensation under New Zealand immigration laws because of his conviction" (REUTERS, 10/3). ... Former Cardiff City, Leeds United and Barnsley Chair PETER RIDSDALE has been "banned from holding any company directorships" for seven-and-a-half years after an investigation into financial irregularities (London GUARDIAN, 10/3).
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl: "EA says FIFA Soccer '13 is biggest sports video game launch of all time: Has sold over 4.5 million in 5 days worldwide."
ManU's Wayne Rooney: "Have to say joe hart has been incredible. For me best keeper in the world"
Bloomberg's Tariq Panja: "Interesting observation from commentator in Man City-Dortmund game. Can't refer to ground as Etihad Stadium on Champions League nights."
SPEED Channel's F1 Pit Reporter Will Buxton: "This week I am going to practice Gangnam style dance moves for my Korean grid walk."
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