Sports Shorts

Could IPL cricket matches be played in England?

News and reactions from the world of sport, including a French Open delay and start of the Masters

1

Cricket 

Surrey’s ‘NFL-esque’ plan to bring IPL to England 

Surrey County Cricket Club want to bring the Indian Premier League (IPL) to England by staging matches at the Kia Oval and other Test grounds. The IPL is the world’s most lucrative franchise competition and Surrey’s project could be worth “tens of millions of pounds” to the cash-strapped domestic game, the Daily Mail reports. 

In a similar set-up to how the NFL hosts regular-season international matches, the plan would see official IPL games played in England and it’s understood to have the backing of London mayor Sadiq Khan. 

“We would love to bring the IPL to London and other areas of England,” Surrey chairman Richard Thompson told the Mail. “We think that’s the silver bullet in terms of reaching a more diverse audience for cricket in this country.”

2

Football 

Mbappe stars as PSG stun Bayern 

Kylian Mbappe scored a superb brace as Paris Saint-Germain stunned Champions League holders Bayern Munich 3-2 in Germany last night. 

In a thrilling quarter-final first leg, Mbappe and Marquinhos gave the French side a two-goal lead before Bayern hit back through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Muller. However, on 68 minutes Mbappe broke away to score the winner. 

Although PSG inflicted only a second defeat in 29 Champions League games on Bayern, it “won’t count as revenge for last summer’s final”, says The Guardian. With Bayern creating a constant stream of chances, the job is “far from over” for PSG. The return leg takes place in Paris next Tuesday.

In last night’s other quarter-final first leg Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were on target as Chelsea won 2-0 at Porto. 

3

NFL

Nike suspends Deshaun Watson partnership 

Sportswear giant Nike has suspended its sponsorship of Deshaun Watson after the Houston Texans quarterback was accused of sexual misconduct in lawsuits filed by 22 women. 

In a statement released to CNBC, Nike said it was “deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations” and “will continue to closely monitor the situation”. Apple’s Beats by Dre brand has also terminated its deal with the 25-year-old. 

4

Tennis 

French Open delayed by a week 

Organisers of the French Open tennis grand slam have confirmed that this year’s tournament at Roland-Garros will now take place from 24 May to 13 June. It’s hoped that the one-week delay will allow more fans to attend the clay-court event, subject to the improvement of the Covid-19 situation in France.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) said postponing was the “best solution” and FFT president Gilles Moretton added that “for the fans, the players and the atmosphere, the presence of spectators is vital for our tournament”.

5

Golf

The Masters first round: pick of the groups

The first major of the men’s golf season, the Masters Tournament, begins today at Augusta National in Georgia. Honorary starters Lee Elder, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player get proceedings underway from 12.45pm (BST) and the opening pair of Michael Thompson and Hudson Swafford start at 1pm. 

Defending champion and world No.1 Dustin Johnson tees off at 3.30pm and is grouped with England’s Lee Westwood and US amateur champion Tyler Strafaci. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, Spain’s Jon Rahm and American Xander Schauffele start their first round at 3.42pm. 

Here we take a look at some of the selected first-round groups (all times BST):

  • 12.45pm: Lee Elder, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player (honorary starters) 
  • 1pm: Michael Thompson, Hudson Swafford
  • 3.06pm: Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland 
  • 3.18pm: Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 
  • 3.30pm: Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Tyler Strafaci
  • 3.42pm: Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy
  • 5.48pm: Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar
  • 6.12pm: Phil Mickelson, Tommy Fleetwood, Scottie Scheffler 
  • 6.36pm: Adam Scott, Bryson DeChambeau, Max Homa
  • 7pm: Jordan Spieth, Cameron Smith, Collin Morikawa

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