The America's Cup is "in limbo once more and looks likely to remain that way for a while yet," according to Dana Johannsen of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Hamilton Island Yacht Club has withdrawn, "leaving the event without a challenger of record." Hamilton Island CEO Iain Murray said that a "lack of clarity on the most basic of details made it impossible for the team to pull together the funds needed for a credible campaign." Murray: "The timeline is the killer in this Cup. Sponsors want to know where the venues are, and the dates. The gap gets pretty wide trying to get the sponsors to commit against the timeline of the expenditure." Where Team Australia's withdrawal leaves the next event "remains unclear." Cup organizers do not "seem to be in any hurry to clear any of that confusion up -- the only communication coming from the America's Cup Events Authority since Team Australia's withdrawal was in the form of a vaguely worded press release" (NZ HERALD, 7/23).
Events and Attractions
India and Pakistan have "turned their backs on September's Asian Games, boosting Hong Kong's chances of a medal" -- but Hong Kong Cricket Association Dir of Cricket Charlie Burke "decried the absence of the subcontinent giants, saying it's a major blow for the game's profile in the region," according to Alvin Sallay of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. India did not participate four years ago in Guangzhou when cricket "made its debut at the Games in the Twenty20 format." Pakistan "turned up but failed to make it to the final, with Bangladesh beating Afghanistan." Burke: "It is a shame for the Asian Games and Asian cricket in general to not have two of the big powerhouses participating." The absence of India in particular in Incheon will be a "massive loss to the Asian Games especially as their presence would have guaranteed massive interest and wide television coverage." Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be the "only two test-playing nations, sending teams for both the men's and women's competition." Pakistan will take part in the women's event (SCMP, 7/22).
As many as 100 New Zealand athletes opted for TV in the village over the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony "for fear of disrupting their big shot at gold." From the 232-strong New Zealand team, an NZ Olympic Committee spokesperson said that "those sitting out included the triathletes, track cyclists, swimmers and men's hockey, most of whom were down to front on day one of competition." Newly-named flagbearer Valerie Adams was "one of few of the 22-strong athletics squad marching in Glasgow." Most of the squad were "at a training camp in Cardiff" (STUFF, 7/23). ... Commonwealth Games Federation CEO Mike Hooper "has defended a decision to ban Welsh boxer Fred Evans from competing in Glasgow after he failed a background check, thought to be due to his involvement in a nightclub assault." Evans, a welterweight Silver Medalist at the London Olympics, "was a strong gold medal hope for the Welsh" but will not take part after the decision from Commonwealth Games officials and the Home Office. Welsh Chef de Mission Brian Davies said he had been left "bitterly disappointed" at the outcome and Evans had been preparing in the hope he would be able to fight (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/23). ... Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse's office said Tuesday that he "will skip the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Glasgow despite being chair of the bloc," after activists threatened to protest at his attendance. Rajapakse's spokesperson Mohan Samaranayake denied that "he had decided to stay away because of the threat of demonstrations over Colombo's alleged human rights abuses." Samaranayake: "No such visit was scheduled" (AFP, 7/22). ... Four members of Sri Lanka’s Commonwealth Games team "sparked a police response after going for a bicycle ride down one of Scotland’s busiest stretches of motorway." The Glasgow 2014 athletes were spotted cycling down the M74 before police intervened and "informed them they were breaking the law" (PA, 7/23). ... The T20 Big Bash League entered a partnership with FELD Entertainment for its Monster Jam Tour in September and October. FELD's partnership with the BBL will extend the league's presence beyond the traditional cricket season (BBL).