Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: Andy Murray could miss Wimbledon and Ireland vs. Italy Six Nations games are postponed

Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 26 February

1. Murray’s fear over tennis future

The Guardian is one of many media outlets reporting that British tennis star Andy Murray still has fears over his future in the sport. 

The 32-year-old had a career-saving hip resurfacing operation in January 2019, but after returning to the court he has not played since November because of a bruised pelvic bone. 

Murray could return to the Tour in Miami next month but the Scot revealed that he may need another operation on his troubled right hip. 

The Guardian says the surgery, however minor, could see the three-time grand slam champion miss Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Murray said: “I do want to keep playing. Whether I’m able to or not is the question.

“I might be playing in the next few weeks – that’s what I hope – but, over the last couple of years, I have become quite pessimistic about time frames, issues and stuff because of what has gone on, and what has been said to me. 

“I don’t want to say I will definitely be in Miami playing. There is also the possibility I might have to have something done. We’ll just have to see.” 

2. Ireland vs. Italy Six Nations matches postponed

It was reported yesterday that the Six Nations rugby championship could be “thrown into turmoil” because of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. 

Today it’s been confirmed that Ireland’s men’s and women’s matches against the Italians on the weekend of 7-8 March have now been postponed. 

Following a meeting with Irish health minister Simon Harris the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) confirmed the games were off and that talks will take place to reschedule the fixtures. 

A statement said: “We will immediately begin to work with our Six Nations partners to look at the possibility of rescheduling the matches and would hope to have an update on this in the coming days.” 

Coronavirus: three-month window to save the Olympic Games in Tokyo

3. Knight hits century in England win

England got their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign back on track with a 98-run win against Thailand today in Canberra. 

After losing their opening match against South Africa, England batted first against Thailand and reached 176-2 from their 20 overs.

Captain Heather Knight starred with an unbeaten century after hitting 108 from just 66 balls. Thailand could only reach a total of 78-7 from their 20 overs.

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4. Alonso to race for McLaren at Indy 500

Fernando Alonso will drive for McLaren at this year’s Indianapolis 500. The Spanish racer, 38, is aiming to complete motorsport’s “triple crown” after victories in the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans during his career. 

Two-time F1 world champion Alonso said: “I am a racer and the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world. I have maximum respect for the race and everyone who competes in it and all I want is to race against them and give my best.”

5. Man City lodge appeal against ban

Manchester City have registered their appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following their two-year ban from the Uefa Champions League. 

After Uefa found City guilty of “serious breaches” of financial regulations the English club were also fined £25m by European football’s governing body. 

City chief executive Ferran Soriano said the breaches are “simply not true”, BBC Sport reports.

Manchester City’s Spanish head coach Pep Guardiola

Denis Lovrovic/AFP via Getty Images

6. Pep: City have to beat the best  

Man City are in Spain tonight for their Champions League round of 16 first leg against Real Madrid. Boss Pep Guardiola says his side must beat the best if they aspire to become European champions. 

“You have to beat Madrid, you have to beat Barcelona, you have to beat Bayern Munich,” said the Spaniard. “You have to beat the big, big teams. 

“If we’re able to do it we’ll be so happy. If not then next season... well, next season I don’t know but when we are able to play we are going to come back.” 

Man City braced for huge test against Champions League ‘kings’ Real Madrid

7. Ole backed to spend big 

On the red side of Manchester The Sun reports that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been given the green light to “spend, spend, spend” this summer.  

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told investors that the club’s board is backing the manager to rebuild the squad. 

Woodward said: “We have continued to make progress on our squad rebuild, with many changes in terms of players we have brought in and players that have come through our academy.

“The foundation for delivering the long-term success that we are all working towards is in place as we implement our plan and our footballing vision with Ole.”

Players linked with a move to Old Trafford include Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, Leicester City’s James Maddison and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

8. Stokes and Buttler receive honours

England cricketers Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were at Buckingham Palace yesterday receiving an OBE and MBE respectively from the Duke of Cambridge.

The duo starred in England’s Cricket World Cup win last summer and for Stokes in particular the decoration caps a remarkable transformation for the 28-year-old, who two years ago was cleared of affray in a high-profile court case after a brawl in Bristol.

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9. F1 testing resumes in Spain

Formula 1’s teams and drivers are back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain for the final three days of pre-season testing.

Drivers on track this afternoon include Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes W11, Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari SF1000 and Max Verstappen in the Red Bull RB16. 

F1 second pre-season test: driver schedules, session times and TV coverage  

10. Back pages: Bayern and Gnabry crush Chelsea 

The remarkable exploits of Serge Gnabry dominates the back pages with The Guardian’s “power Serge” headline encapsulating the gushing praise for the brilliant Bayern Munich marksman. 

Having scored four goals in their 7-2 win against Tottenham in October, the 24-year-old added two more against Chelsea last night as the Germans ran out 3-0 winners in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge.

‘Poor and outclassed’: Lampard reacts as Chelsea lose to Bayern

Today’s sport headlines

Bayern Munich and Gnabry cause a ‘power Serge’ at Stamford Bridge

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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