Global sports round-up

Top cyclist struck by minibus

JOHANNESBURG – South African Burry Stander, one of the world’s top mountain bike athletes, was struck by a minibus taxi and killed while cycling on a coastal road in his home country, police said today.

Stander, 25, narrowly missed out on a medal at the London Olympics, coming in fifth in the men’s cross country event. He came in 15th at the Beijing Games and has been one of the top cyclists on the World Cup circuit over the past few years.

Police said Stander was killed yesterday while cycling alone. He died at the scene of the accident in Shelly Beach, about 120 kms (75 miles) southwest of Durban.

“The taxi driver allegedly stopped after the accident until the arrival of the police. No arrest has been made at this stage,” police said in a statement.

Stander was one of the biggest stars in South Africa’s cycling community and his death touched off a flood of comments on social media.


Mancini: No backlash for Balotelli

MANCHESTER – Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has insisted that he will give striker Mario Balotelli “another 100 chances” in the hope that he will “change”.

The Italian boss has insisted that Balotelli will not be sold following yesterday’s training ground fracas, which involved Mancini grabbing the controversial forward and pushing him off the training pitch after the player had launched a dangerous tackle on Scott Sinclair.

“I will give him another 100 chances if it is possible I think he can change,” Mancini said in a press conference. “I am here for this. I give him another chance, sure, because he is 22 and he can do a mistake.”

Mancini also insisted that Balotelli would not face disciplinary action from the club.†


Better relations between Asian giants

KOLKATA – Stating that relations between the two neighbouring nations have improved, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf yesterday said he wanted an Ashes-like cricket series with arch-rivals India.

“We have thought of it. The idea has been floated with the BCCI if an Ashes-like series can be played between India and Pakistan every year or alternate year,” Ashraf said.

“The series can be named either after (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah or (Mahatma) Gandhi.”

He said the level of understanding between both the countries, even at the Prime Minister level, has improved and the two governments are moving in a positive way.

Hoping that the Indian cricket team will visit Pakistan soon, the PCB chief said future matches with India can be played in Pakistan or at a neutral venue. On relations with other cricketing nations, the PCB chief said things were much better now.

“The terrorists have moved away to the northern side of the Afghanistan border. Our cities and grounds are now safe. We have proper security in place and no team should be scared of coming to Pakistan,” he said.†

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