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Volume 7 No. 149

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Chris Kermode believes staging events so close to one another would be taxing on the players.

ATP Exec Chair Chris Kermode said that staging two competing World Cup events in the space of six weeks would be "insane," according to Russell Fuller of the BBC. The Int'l Tennis Federation "has set out plans for an 18-team end-of-season event" which will crown the Davis Cup champions from '19. The ATP's priority is to stage a revamped World Team Cup in Australia in the first week of January from '20. Kermode: "Hopefully tennis works together and we come up with a solution." Talks have already taken place between the ITF and the ATP to "try and find a compromise," he added (BBC, 5/15). REUTERS' Aditi Prakash reported if both competitions are approved, men’s players will end their season at the World Cup of Tennis and after a "very short break," start preparing for the World Team Cup and the following grand slam. Kermode believes that it would be "very taxing." He said, "It doesn’t make any sense to have two team events. Personally I think that would be insane. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen" (REUTERS, 5/16).

CHANGES COMING: The BBC's Russell Fuller reported shot clocks and reduced warm-ups "appear very likely to be introduced to the ATP Tour -- and possibly next season." A "number of innovations" were trialed at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last November. Players can expect to face a 25-second serving clock and a reduced warm-up on tour in either '19 or '20. The shot clock "is set to be enforced at a Grand Slam for the first time during this year's US Open" (BBC, 5/15).

The Oval's redevelopment will make it the biggest cricket ground in England.

The England & Wales Cricket Board will hold "crisis talks" with Surrey County Cricket Club next month over The Oval hosting the new Hundred competition, according to Nick Hoult of the London TELEGRAPH. The meeting was called by the ECB to ascertain whether Surrey is "totally committed to hosting the tournament" at The Oval when it launches in '20. ECB Chair Colin Graves warned Surrey that he is willing to strip the club of hosting rights unless it throws its support behind the "controversial new tournament." But Surrey also wants answers from the ECB "over what the tournament will look like and what will happen to other cricket" during the four-week window at "high summer" when the competition is due to take place. Surrey is county cricket’s "richest club" and The Oval's redevelopment over the next few years "will make it the biggest ground in England." It is "impossible to see the tournament taking place without the Oval as a host venue, but relations between the board and Surrey have plummeted this year" (TELEGRAPH, 5/15).

Romania will appeal a World Rugby ruling that disqualified the country from next year's Rugby World Cup. Russia was awarded a place at the 2019 World Cup in Japan after World Rugby "sensationally" disqualified Romania, Spain and Belgium on Tuesday (AFP, 5/16). 

Three men were fined for verbally abusing England rugby union coach Eddie Jones at a railway station. They "hurled foul-mouthed taunts" at Jones, 58, in Manchester on Feb. 25, the day after Scotland beat England 25-13 in the Six Nations tournament. Richie Cleeton, 22, Connor Inglis, 25, and Brett Grant, 23, all pleaded guilty to a public order offense at Manchester Magistrates' Court (BBC, 5/16).