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Victoria coach found dead

Melbourne: Former Victorian state cricket coach John Scholes was found dead inside his home here on Monday, Cricket Victoria said. He was 53. Scholes’ death will be the subject of a coroner’s report after his body was found by a neighbour while his wife was away, police said.

The former Victorian captain, Scholes coached Victoria for five seasons from 1996 but stood down on the eve of the 2001-02 season for personal reasons. Scholes’ death shocked his former players and colleagues at Cricket Victoria. As coach, Scholes took Victoria to victory in the one-day Cup in 1998-99 and successive Sheffield Shield finals in the following two seasons.

Carlos advice for Becks

Madrid: England captain David Beckham will be judged on his footballing ability not his marketing image at Real Madrid, Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos said.

“Real Madrid is not just about photos and advertising, we are a football team and we know that we have to win games and earn titles. I’m sure Beckham is just going to concentrate on the football,” Carlos told the Spanish sports daily Marca.

“Beckham is a great player and he is going to strengthen our team. What I want to happen is that in the first game he plays he is the best, so that everyone gets to see that he is an excellent footballer.

“That way all the comments about him being a mere publicity machine will end.” Beckham, who joined Real from Manchester United last month, is viewed by many commentators in Spain as surplus to requirements at Real given the club’s surfeit of quality midfielders.

Gerrard not for sale

London: Liverpool’s England midfielder Steven Gerrard is not for sale at any price, the Premier League club said on Monday.

Weekend newspaper reports had linked the 23-year-old with a big-money move to Chelsea, who have been active in the transfer market since being bought earlier this month by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. “The player is not for sale at any price. He is a central part of (manager) Gerard Houllier’s plans so they will be wasting their time,” Liverpool said in a statement on their website.

Kuruppu for Indo-Pak ties

Karachi: Singapore cricket coach Brendon Kuruppu has called on India and Pakistan to restore cricketing links for the benefit of the sport across Asia.

Kuruppu said previous one-day tournaments featuring India and Pakistan, hosted by Singapore had generated precious funds for the city’s cricket authorities. “Singapore is a fledgling cricket nation and looks to Pakistan and India for the promotion of the game,” said Kuruppu, a former Sri Lankan Test player.

Ronaldinho ultimatum

Barcelona: Barcelona have given Ronaldinho and Paris Saint Germain an ultimatum to decide whether he will come to the Catalonian giants in the next few days, Spanish media reported Monday.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has demanded the French outfit finally make up its mind about the Brazilian World Cup star.

Baggio surgery

Rome: Brescia striker Roberto Baggio has gone into hospital for an operation to remove some debris from his right knee, the Serie A club confirmed Monday. However the 36-year-old former Italy international is expected to be released within the next 24 hours and could resume training early next month.

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