Archive for May, 2011

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The ECB today announced that Jonathan Trott and Lydia Greenway have won the ECB Men’s and Women’s Cricketer of the Year awards respectively, whilst batsman Umesh Valjee from West London received the England Disability Cricketer of the Year award.

The winner of the ECB Men’s Cricketer of the Year, Jonathan Trott, was selected by the British cricket media. The award is given to the player that has had the greatest impact on England’s performances, since the start of the 2010 international season until the final match of the World Cup.

In that time Trott has enjoyed a hugely successful year, playing 32 times for his country and scoring 2,246 runs at an average of 68.06. This included seven centuries and a highest score of 226, scored against Bangladesh at Lord’s last summer.

During the Ashes his average of 89 was second only to Alastair Cook, whilst his first over run-out of Simon Katich during the second Test in Adelaide helped set England on the road to Ashes victory.

In winning the award, Trott saw off strong competition from his England colleagues Cook, Andrew Strauss, James Anderson and Graeme Swann.

“I am both extremely humbled and proud to have been named England Cricketer of the Year after what has clearly been the most enjoyable year of my cricketing career so far.

“It is an honour to represent England and it has been a privilege to be involved in such a successful, hard-working team. I wouldn’t have won this award with the commitment and support of my team-mates.

“This award really belongs to the entire England squad and management team that have provided such a supportive and professional environment that has allowed me to prosper as a cricketer and a person.

“There is still much hard work to be done and improvement to be made and I look forward to making further contributions to a successful England team for a long as possible.”

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Prince William is the latest figure to call for Fifa to delay the presidential election which is due to take place on Wednesday, the Duke of Cambridge, who is the FA’s president, is “fully behind” the move, according to a St. James’s Palace spokesperson.

FA chairman David Bernstein has confirmed that its attempt to have Wednesday’s election postponed is almost certain to fail.

But a statement on Tuesday evening said that Prince William “is fully supportive of the chairman and the initiatives the FA has recommended.

“He considers the transparency of the international governing body to be integral to the good governance of the game.”

Spanish defender Sergio Ramos has called on Spanish players from both Barcelona and Real Madrid to forget recent rivalries for the good of the national side, After the bitter recent ‘El Clasico’ clashes between the two club sides.

There has been speculation whether the animosity from previous encounters at club level would disrupt the harmony in the national camp after many heated encounters this season between to two clubs.

He said: “Instead of thinking about fights from these games we should think about what we have achieved together, something we have never achieved before, winning Euro 2008 and the World Cup.

“We have experienced some very important moments together to be able to overcome these types of problems.
“It is clear to us and to them…they were only clashes and rivalry on the field of play.

“We have a good team spirit and we have to forget it all for the good of the national team.”

Diego Forlan has today insisted that he isn’t about to quit Atletico Madrid over the summer, after news that striker partner Sergio Aguero confirmed he will be leaving Forlan moved quickly to re-assure the fans that he will remain at Atletico.

The 32-year-old hitman scored 28 goals last season before winning the Golden Ball at last year’s World Cup.

“I insist that I want to continue with this club although every day I am linked with a new club,” he told Uruguayan newspaper El Observador.

The striker had been linked to Dubai based club Al Wasl, but the Uruguyan added; “The day I was in Sweden for a publicity event, some papers said that I had travelled to sign in Dubai.

“My situation is rare because the media says I’m not interested in staying with the club but I’ve said that those stories are not true.

“At the moment I have not received any offer. I still have two seasons (with Atletico) and I am very content there.

“I will only leave Atletico Madrid if an offer is received which is too tempting for all parties.”

Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton joined the list of soccer icons leading tributes to Paul Scholes who announced he was retiring from football today,  the midfielder ended weeks of speculation on whether he would retire or not.

Charlton a former England international admits he is disappointed Scholes has finally hung up his boots, believing it is ‘an absolute tragedy’ he will no longer be playing for the United.

Bobby Charlton said; “Well I had a hint that it was going to happen and I was hoping that somebody would be brave enough to ask him to stay and hopefully get the right response.

“But he is not that type of person – once he makes up his mind to do something he’s very singular minded.”

“And all I can think of is what an absolute tragedy that we have to be without him – he is such a fantastic player, a beautiful player to watch – and we will miss him certainly at Manchester United.

Charlton also added; “But I think more from the game’s point of view that he was just priceless – he had vision, he could see instantly where people were and I used to sometimes hear people gasp when he made a pass that was just so pinpoint.

“He’s just a fantastic player – a beautiful, beautiful footballer – and at Manchester United we’ve been very proud that he played for us for most of his career, for all of his career really, so I’m very disappointed in that respect but I love him as a person, he’s a great lad, and he will be remembered forever at Manchester United, there’s no question about that.”

Fabio Capello tried unsuccessfully to lure Scholes out of England retirement for the last World Cup and Charlton was sorry he did not play more for the Three Lions.

He added: “And England – one of the things that maybe could have improved England was if he didn’t love his family so much, he wanted to stay with his family rather than keep travelling to England.

Paul Scholes has been taking his coaching badges will join United’s coaching staff at Old Trafford.
“But he’s a marvellous player and he’s a great person, I love him to bits and we are very proud and we’ll look after him for the rest of his career hopefully.”

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is expected to leave Aston Villa shortly, he took over only in September but has since experienced health problems that saw him hospitalised towards the end of the season with Gary McAllister take over the helm during Houllier’s absence.

BBC Radio 5 live’s Pat Murphy said: “The decision will be in the interests of Aston Villa, not Houllier.

“The delay may be over severance pay. Houllier still has two years left on a contract worth more than £2m a year.”

Murphy added: “Houllier and his management team have remained bullish about his prospects of returning to work but a final round of medical tests late last week would have taken the decision out of Houllier’s hands.”

Medical test results have been studied by the club’s owner Randy Lerner and medical staff. Houllier missed the final month of last season because of his heart problems.

Croatian and Spurs midfielder Luka Modric as admitted that he is not sure if he will still be at White Hart Lane next season, Modric has insisted that he has now caught the bug of Champions League football after the experience from this season.

But Spurs have failed to qualify for the tournament this time and the Croat is unsure of his future.

The midfield ace says he is happy at Spurs and is not thinking of leaving White Hart Lane and he is focusing solely on Croatia’s up-coming Euro 2012 qualifier with Georgia on Friday.

But Modric believes a transfer is always possible in football and he admits he would like to play in the UEFA Champions League again.

Luka Modric said; “I’m trying to stay calm as my national team has a really important match coming.
“But of course, if there will be an offer which will be good for Tottenham and for me also, then a transfer is of course possible.”

“So I will tell you the same as all ways – my club status is the same as it was before.
“But of course, if there will be an offer which will be good for Tottenham and for me also, then a transfer is of course possible.

“That doesn’t mean that I’m bothered with leaving Tottenham – I’m not thinking about that every hour and every minute.

“I’m happy at White Hart Lane – my status is great, the fans like me and I do have everything I need.
“But then again – when you experience playing in Champions League, you want to keep playing in this tournament.”