Cricket Australia Chair Wally Edwards "has promised a complete review of the domestic schedule, a topic of angst for players," according to Chloe Saltau of THE AGE. Ahead of CA's annual meeting and regular board meeting in Melbourne this week, Edwards also revealed that Australia "would still owe matches to India under reciprocal touring arrangements after the seven-game ODI series in India." The unbalanced domestic program "is a major concern to players." Many "believe that the Big Bash League is too long while the Ryobi Cup, transformed into an early season carnival on suburban grounds in Sydney, is too short," marginalizing the 50-over format 18 months before Australia and New Zealand host the World Cup. Edwards said, "My perception of what we have done this year has been pretty good, but it will all be reviewed" (THE AGE, 10/23). In Sydney, Andrew Wu wrote CA "is putting a host of Australia's brightest young stars through a leadership program that has the potential to unearth the next two long-term Test captains." CA Performance Manager Pat Howard "did not reveal the names of those participating" but sources said that Test players Steve Smith, Matthew Wade and Phillip Hughes headline a list of potential next-generation leaders involved. The program, which is aimed at improving and developing leadership skills in Australian cricket's male and female programs, "is also extended to players fresh out of CA's junior programs" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/23).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat will not "represent the organization at international level pending an independent investigation into his conduct," according to Kamlesh Bhuckory of BLOOMBERG. The decision came as CSA and the Board of Control for Cricket in India "agreed that the Indian team will play South Africa in two Test matches and three One-Day International meetings on a tour of the country." India "was scheduled to play three Tests and seven one-day games between November and January." India will play West Indies at home before the South African tour. CSA said that "the probe into Lorgat’s conduct will center on his role in the release of comments" about the Int'l Cricket Council board by David Becker, a former legal adviser to CSA. Becker’s statement linked BCCI President N. Srinivasan "to certain unethical conduct" (BLOOMBERG, 10/22). REUTERS' Nick Said reported CSA also announced that "pending an independent investigation to be convened by the ICC, Lorgat has effectively been left to deal with domestic cricket duties only." It follows comments made by Becker, who said that "the BCCI was bullying the ICC Board into making decisions that benefited Indian cricket only" (REUTERS, 10/22).
The German Touring Car Championship (DTM) season ended on Sunday with former F1 driver Timo Glock winning his first race, but the Chair of DTM rights holder and promoter ITR, Hans-Werner Aufrecht, said that "changes have to be made for the upcoming season," according to SPORT1. Aufrecht: "We have to ask ourselves the question, what can we do to fascinate the spectators even more." Due to several confusing regulation changes, the series "recently received increased criticism from its fans." Aufrecht said, "The clarity of the races has to be improved again for fans in the the future." However, Aufrecht "sees the DTM's biggest potential in the quality of drivers." He said, "We have to rethink the format and ask ourselves if we need stars in the DTM. I say, 'yes'" (SPORT1, 10/21).
Livid with the suspended Indian Boxing Federation's antics, Int'l Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) President Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu has said the world body will now work with the Indian Olympic Association to "get to a position where it will be possible to hold new elections" for the IBF, according to the PTI. In a "sternly-worded missive" Wu has stated that the IBF "does not have any validly appointed officers" at the moment. Wu said in a letter, which has, among others, also been addressed to India's representative in the AIBA, exec committee member Kishen Narsi, "The process has become increasingly difficult due to the opposing positions adopted by various factions within the IABF" (PTI, 10/22).
NFL China has announced that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana will be visiting Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing in November. Montana will be a guest at the University Bowl V Championship on Nov. 17 at Guanghzhou's NFL Home Field, where the NFL University Flag Football League's City Champions will compete for a chance to win the national title. Montana's visit will continue a series of events organized by NFL China since September. The NFL Home Field event in Shanghai on Sunday will include appearances by New England Patriots cheerleaders, tackle and flag football games, food and other football activities. Since its opening weekend on Sept. 1, NFL Home Field is on to target to host more than 80,000 people (NFL).
Five rugby players at Premiership clubs "tested positive for recreational drugs last season," according to the BBC. In its annual anti-doping report, the Rugby Football Union said the cases would be treated confidentially and punished with a "first-strike fine." The tests came under the RFU's illicit drugs program, "a series of out-of competition tests." In 617 tests for performance-enhancing drugs, "none were failed by Premiership players" (BBC, 10/22). The PA reported it is the first time since the illicit drugs program was introduced for the '09-10 season that "there have been violations of the policy." Four major illicit drug groups are tested -- cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines -- and 83% of samples are hair samples, "which have a three to seven month detection period." Rugby Players' Association Dir David Barnes said, "A small number of adverse findings via the illicit drugs program is a reminder that we can never assume the anti-doping job has been 'done'" (PA, 10/22).
FIA presidential candidate David Ward said the organization faces "huge embarrassment" for proposing an election rule change just six weeks before voting is to take place. Ward also called the FIA's decision a "farce" and said that "it backs up his quest for the top job" (BBC, 10/21). ... FA of Thailand President Worawi Makudi on Monday insisted that last week's FAT presidential election "was conducted in a straightforward manner." Worawi on Thursday beat former national team Manager Virach Charnpanich "for a fourth straight term as Thai football chief." But Virach, who also lost to Worawi in the previous election two years ago, "complained of irregularities and his supporters have vowed to take legal action." At Monday's press conference, however, Worawi said that "the election was clean and fair" (BANGKOK POST, 10/22). ... UAE U17 coach Rashid Amir "sought to play down his comments" about over-age players at the FIFA U17 World Cup, suggesting on Tuesday that "they might have been made in the heat of the moment after a heavy loss to Brazil" (THE NATIONAL, 10/22). ... The Australian Rugby Union "is urgently seeking funding from broadcast and sponsorship partners for two development competitions it hopes will provide more depth in the Australian rugby talent pool." The ARU board agreed in principle at its meeting in Sydney "to the establishment of a Super B competition and a national club competition, pending the securing of funding" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/23).