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England withdraw Stokes from ODI squad

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LONDON: Suspended England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been withdrawn from the squad for this month’s five-match One-day International series against Australia and was replaced by batsman Dawid Malan, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.

Stokes, who was provisionally named in England’s squad, is awaiting a decision on whether he will be charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for his involvement in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
The ECB said he would not travel with the group of players leaving for Australia on Tuesday and his availability will depend on CPS advice.

“Should ECB receive formal confirmation that he has either, a) been charged or, b) will face no charges, the ECB board would convene within 48 hours to make a decision on his availability to represent England at that stage,” ECB said in a statement on their website.

 

The first ODI between Australia and England will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Jan. 14, followed by further fixtures in Brisbane (Jan 19), Sydney (Jan 21, Adelaide (Jan 26) and Perth (Jan 28).

The ECB, meanwhile, said the 26-year-old Stokes has been cleared to participate in the player draft for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.

Stokes was recently granted a ‘no objection certificate’ to play for Canterbury in New Zealand, the land of his birth, though he cut short his stay there for ‘family reasons’.

And ECB chief executive Tom Harrison conceded it would be ‘difficult’ to prevent him playing in the IPL.
Stokes is looking at a lucrative contract in the IPL.

Last year he was signed for a record fee of £1.7 million ($2.3million) by the Rising Pune Supergiants.

He repaid their investment handsomely by being the player of the tournament.

A big-money new television deal could see figures rise even higher at the player auction later this month, because teams have a salary cap that has risen by 20 percent.


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WC final was the best and worst day of my cricketing life: Guptill

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London: After coming out as the losing side in the ICC Mens Cricket World Cup final, New Zealands opening batsman Martin Guptill posted an emotional message on Instagram saying it was the best and worst day of his cricketing life.

“Hard to believe it`s been a week since that incredible Final at Lords. I think it was both the best and worst day of my cricketing life! So many different emotions, but mainly proud to represent New Zealand and play for the @blackcapsnz alongside a great group of mates. Thank you to everyone for all your support, it has been amazing,” Guptill wrote on Instagram.

In another post, Guptill thanked his family for always being with him through thick and thin.

 

“I couldn`t have been more proud to have my 2 best supporters with me for the ride. @lauramcgoldrick13 you are my rock. Thank you and Harley for being there through the good times and the tough. Love my girls more than anything,” Guptill posted.

The final between New Zealand and England at the Lord`s Cricket Ground on July 14 could not separate the two sides despite the 50-over match and subsequent super over as both ended in a tie.

England were finally declared the champions on the basis of boundary countback rule.New Zealand had set up a target of 242 for England to win the World Cup.

As the hosts needed nine runs off three balls, Ben Stokes hit the ball into the deep and ran for a double. Guptill had thrown the ball in an attempt to run out Stokes but the ball bounced off Stokes` bat and reached the boundary giving England six runs.

Former ICC Elite umpire Simon Taufel had said that there was a judgment error by the on-field umpires and the six runs should not have been awarded.

“There was a judgment error on the overthrow. The judgment error was the timing of when the fielder threw the ball. The act of the overthrow starts when the fielder releases the ball. That`s the act. It becomes an overthrow from the instant of the throw,” Taufel had said.

In the super over, New Zealand needed two runs of the final ball for the win, but Guptill was run-out, ending the over in a tie and leaving the batsman distraught. Many former cricketers had criticised the ICC for deciding the World Cup winner on the basis of boundary countback.

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Ronaldo will not face rape charge in Vegas

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London: Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo will face no charges in Las Vegas in connection with a 10-year-old sexual assault allegation because the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors said.

Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time and plays for the Italian club Juventus, has maintained he is innocent.

Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in September 2018 in state court in Nevada accusing the athlete of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse suite in 2009, then paying her $375,000 in hush money.

 

A woman called Las Vegas police on June 13, 2009 to report that she had been sexually assaulted and police took her to the hospital for an examination, the Clark County District Attorney`s Office said in a statement on Monday. She declined to identify the person who she said assaulted her.

The statement did not identify the woman, but Mayorga`s civil lawsuit mirrors the allegation outlined by prosecutors.

Mayorga and Ronaldo reached a civil settlement in 2010 and law enforcement did not hear again from her until Aug. 28, 2018, when she asked police to reopen the investigation. She said Ronaldo was the person who sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

Las Vegas police on July 8 asked the Clark County District Attorney`s Office to prosecute the case.

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the District Attorney`s Office said in a statement on Monday.

Ronaldo`s attorney, Peter Christiansen, did not return calls. Attorneys for Mayorga could not be reached for comment.

Las Vegas police said in January they had formally asked Italian authorities to obtain a DNA sample from Ronaldo.

Police did not immediately respond to emails asking if they ever obtained the DNA.

The civil lawsuit, in which Mayorga sought more than $200,000 in damages, has been moved to federal court.

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Tokyo adds robots to Olympic roster

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TOKYO: A roster of Olympic robots that will do everything from welcoming visitors to transporting javelins has been unveiled as Tokyo works to showcase Japanese technology at next year’s Summer Games.

Japan hopes the 2020 Olympics will be a chance to put its tech sector back on the map after years in which the country’s reputation as an industry leader has flagged.

Auto giant Toyota has a roster of five robots with different roles to play, from cutesy renditions of the Olympic mascots to a staid transport bot.

 

Undoubtedly the most appealing are the toddler-sized versions of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots, the futuristic Miraitowa and Someity.

Blue- or pink-checked, with huge eyes and pointy ears, the mascot robots have multiple joints and arms which can be remotely controlled.

And while the pint-sized pair can’t move or talk, a camera inside their heads helps them interact with spectators and athletes, said Tomohisa Moiradaira, an official responsible for Tokyo 2020 robot development at Toyota.

“Thanks to the camera, the robots can recognise people’s expressions and respond back,” he told reporters on Monday. “If a person moves away it will look sad.”
The mascot’s ‘feelings’ are reflected in its eyes: they can display hearts or stars depending on emotions.

Toyota has suggested the mascot robots could welcome athletes and spectators, and possibly help engage children with the Games.

Significantly less cute — but slightly more practical — is the company’s Field Support Robot, a suitcase-sized automaton on wheels that will help Olympic staff.

“It is capable of following staff, while avoiding obstacles, and can be loaded with items like javelins or discusses, helping reduce the amount of time needed to retrieve items as well as reduce the amount of staff labour for events,” Toyota said.

Other offerings include robots designed to support people in wheelchairs or deliver food to spectators.

For those who can’t attend the Games, there’s the T-TR1, effectively a human-sized narrow screen on wheels equipped with a camera.

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