1. Stokes to be New Zealander of the year?
England star Ben Stokes has been nominated for the New Zealander of the year award following his exploits at the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Stokes, 28, was born in New Zealand before moving to England at the age of 12. In the World Cup final he was man-of-the-match as England beat the Black Caps in the super over at Lord’s on Sunday.
Cameron Bennett, the award’s chief judge, told the BBC: “He might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch, where his parents now live, and with Maori ancestry, there’s clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him.”
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson has also been nominated for the award after being named the World Cup’s player of the tournament.
The ten candidates will be announced in December and the winner will be revealed in February next year.
2. England to play NZ in Netball World Cup
England and New Zealand will go head-to-head in the Netball World Cup semi-final on Saturday (3pm) in Liverpool. Australia face South Africa in the first semi-final on Saturday (11.15am) and the final will be played on Sunday (4.45pm).
3. Welsh part-timers stun Kilmarnock
Connah’s Quay Nomads are through to the second qualifying round of the Uefa Europa League after knocking out Kilmarnock. A goal down from the first leg, the Welsh part-timers stunned the Scottish side with a 2-0 win away at Rugby Park last night. They will now play Partizan Belgrade next. Connah’s Quay manager Andy Morrison said: “What we’ve achieved is something quite remarkable. You could see for large periods what a good team they are, but we were too savvy and too clever and worked them out. We always believed we’d get a chance and we took them.”
4. Dennis quits Tour de France
Australian cycling star Rohan Dennis has quit the Tour de France, but no explanation has been given for his dramatic withdrawal. The Bahrain-Merida rider said: “I wish my team-mates the very best for the remainder of the race and would like to thank all the Tour de France fans who cheered for me, at home and on the roadside, since Brussels. I will hopefully be back competing in this great race again over the coming seasons.”
5. Terriers reveal actual kit
Huddersfield Town were this week hammered on social media after launching their new home strip which featured a sash with a huge logo for bookmaker Paddy Power. There were suspicions that the original kit was a PR stunt and that has been confirmed today by the Championship club. Huddersfield said on Twitter: “The shirt is part of @paddypower’s new #SaveOurShirt campaign; an initiative that is backing a move towards unbranded football kits, effectively returning the shirt back to the fans.”
6. Vettel needs a ‘different environment’
If Sebastian Vettel is to get his Formula 1 career back on track then he should consider leaving Ferrari. That’s the opinion of Dr Helmut Marko, the driver manager at Vettel’s former team Red Bull Racing. Marko said: “You make mistakes when you are no longer yourself. It happens in your subconscious mind. Sebastian should actually be in a different environment. In other words: with a different team. I don’t see any possibility for that before 2020.”
7. Klopp: City clear favourites for EPL title
Liverpool may be champions of Europe but manager Jurgen Klopp believes that Manchester City remain the team to beat in the Premier League. The German also admits that the Anfield club are still not in a position to compete with Pep Guardiola’s City in the transfer market. Speaking during the club’s tour of the United States Klopp said: “It would be great if we can be close to them again, it’s clear they are big favourites. No one can take away that we won the Champions League but it will not help us in the league this season.”
8. Barca step up bid for Neymar return
Barcelona’s “obsession” with re-signing Neymar could have an impact on transfer business in the Premier League this summer. The Spanish giants have reportedly offered Paris Saint-Germain £90m and the choice of their top stars in return for the Brazilian forward. Barca have given PSG “a list of six players that could be included in the deal”. On the list are Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Malcom and Samuel Umtiti.
9. Pogba deal ‘very difficult’ for Real
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has been warned that it will be “very difficult” to sign Paul Pogba this summer. The warning comes from none other than the man who controls the Bernabeu purse strings, Real president Florentino Perez. According to ESPN the Spaniards do not have the funds to sign the 26-year-old French World Cup winner who has hinted that he wants to leave Manchester United.
10. McIlroy: I want to punch myself
Rory McIlroy’s hopes of winning The Open on home soil are in tatters after a disastrous opening round at Royal Portrush yesterday.
The Northern Irishman hit a first-round 79 after a quadruple bogey on hole one and a triple bogey on the last. This left the 30-year-old eight-over par, 13 shots behind clubhouse leader JB Holmes. After his horror round McIlroy said: “I want to punch myself.”
Four-time major winner McIlroy tees off in round two today at 3.10pm (BST) and will be hoping to make the cut.