The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Insecure Cuba stage pullout

Havana: Cuba will not participate in next month’s Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador because of concerns about the security of its athletes and leaders.

A communiqué from Cuban sport officials Sunday said intelligence officials discovered anti-communist groups from Miami were planning violent attacks on the Cuban delegation, including the assassination of vice president Jose Ramon Fernandez, president of the Cuban Olympic Committee. Cuba, known internationally for its highly developed sports programme, is sure to be missed at the event which brings together the best amateur athletes from the region. “The organs of intelligence and counter-intelligence of Cuba have reported on the dangers of physical aggression to, and even kidnapping of, Cuban athletes,” the communiqué said.

Williams to lead Baroda

Vadodara: Experienced batsman Connor Williams will lead the Baroda Ranji Trophy team in its matches against Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Orissa this season.

Williams replaces Jacob Martin, who has opted to play for Railways. Baroda will also miss the services of Zaheer Khan, who is on national duty.

The squad — Connor Williams (captain), Satyajit Parab, Nayan Mongia, Atul Bedade, Tushar Arothe, Ajit Bhoite, Rakesh Patel, Irfan Pathan Jr, Valmik Buch, Shekhar Joshi, Sukhbir Singh, Rakesh Solanki, Rohit Chandorkar and Milap Mewada. Coach: Vikram Hazare. Manager: Vasudev Patel.

Kewell ‘has it in him’

Melbourne: Leeds United forward Harry Kewell said on Sunday he believed he was capable of becoming the best player in the world. The 24-year-old Australian was asked in a television interview if his ambitions in the game included striving to be the world’s best. “That’s probably the most important thing that every footballer tries to achieve. I’m going to give it my all to be that,” Kewell replied.

Asked if he had the ability to achieve his goal, the Sydney-born striker added: “I think I have, yes. I think I have got it in me.” Kewell, whose father Rod emigrated to Australia at the age of 20, made his debut for Leeds in the 1995-96 season.

Lehmann fails to impress

Adelaide: South Australia captain Darren Lehmann again failed to impress the national selectors on Sunday as New South Wales took 12 wickets to record an innings victory in a four-day interstate match.

A day after former Test opener and Man-of-the-Match Michael Slater had smashed 177 in the New South Wales total of 474 for six declared, Lehmann followed up his 45 with just seven in the second, including one dropped chance.

South Australia, resuming at 219 for eight, were all out for 233 with tailender John Davison unbeaten on 72. New South Wales captain Simon Katich then enforced the follow-on. Another former Test batsman Greg Blewett top-scored for the home side with 69 in South Australia’s second innings of 170 as New South Wales coasted to victory by an innings and 71 runs with more than a day’s play to spare.

Posthumous honour

London: New Zealand yachtsman Peter Blake was posthumously awarded the Olympic Order on Saturday, one of the highest awards given by the IOC, in recognition of his services to the sport.

Blake, aged 53, was murdered in December by pirates who boarded his boat while it was moored in Brazil’s Amazon river.

The presentation was made at Emsworth Sailing Club by former King Constantine of Greece and accepted by Blake’s wife, Pippa.

n Soccer, Spanish League from 10 am on Star Sports n Cricket, South Africa vs Australia — Fourth ODI highlights from 9.30 pm on ESPN n Soccer, Premier League — Bolton Wanderers vs Sunderland, live from 1.25 am (Tuesday) on Star Sports

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