The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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It’s Indo-Pak rugby now

Colombo: India and Pakistan will meet in their first ever international rugby match in Sri Lanka next week, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The two teams will compete next Friday during a tournament that will also involve three regional Sri Lankan teams. “The match will be the first international rugby match between the two countries,” Pakistan Rugby Football Union president Fawzi Kawaji was quoted as saying. Players from both countries also welcomed India’s decision on Wednesday. “Everyone knows that India and Pakistan enjoy cordial relations when it comes to rugby. Where hostilities are concerned it begins on the field and ends there,” Indian player Chaitanya Singh said.

Manager warns Rooney

London: Wayne Rooney celebrates his 18th birthday on Friday but he failed to get the vote from his Everton manager David Moyes who hit out at the birthday-boy for failing to hit top form this season. Moyes says Rooney has had only one good match this season. And Moyes is concerned about the player’s lifestyle. “So far this season Wayne’s form has not been too good, and I would imagine every Evertonian you speak to would say the same thing,” Moyes says. Moyes became worried earlier this year when Everton began fielding countless calls from ‘friends of the club’ with tales of how they had seen the new superstar knocking about with his pals on the street or eating pie and chips. But Rooney seemed to get the message and is no longer seen out and about.

Theme books in Argentina

Buenos Aires: Argentina’s government plans to give away 400,000 soccer-theme books at matches between now and December to encourage reading, despite fears many could be torn up for ticker-tape celebrations. President Nestor Kirchner believes the scheme will be a success even if only a small percentage of people read the short stories by well-known Argentine and Latin American writers.

Alpay blames Beckham

London: Turkey defender Alpay Ozalan says his Aston Villa contract would not have been cancelled if his recent spat with England captain David Beckham had been with any other player.

Alpay came under fire from the British media and English soccer fans after his much-publicised confrontation with Beckham during England’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey in Istanbul two weeks ago. “This would not have happened if the confrontation had been with any other player than David Beckham,” Alpay told the Daily Mirror on Friday.

“The time and effort the English media give to David Beckham is unfair. ”

Fielding training

Port-of-Spain: Dismayed by the poor fielding of Caribbean cricketers, Australian coach Tim Coyle has begun to train regional coaches in fielding techniques.

“The feedback I am getting from the coaches here is that the players have lost interest in fielding and they are not putting enough time and effort into it anymore,” Coyle said.

Invited by the WICB to facilitate a four-day training camp in Couva, the Tasmanian said he is working with 14 coaches from around the Caribbean to make the most of the region’s player talent.

Kobe scores

Anaheim: Kobe Bryant may wish that the jury for his upcoming sexual assault trial includes members of the sell-out crowd at Thursday’s National Basketball Association exhibition game at the Arrowhead Pond. Bryant scored 15 points in his first action since his legal troubles in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 107-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sport on Screen

Rugby, World Cup — Live from 1pm on ESPN
Soccer, Premier League preview from 8pm on STAR Sports
Cricket, England vs Bangladesh, 1st Test, Day V live from 8.55pm on STAR Sports
Cricket, South Africa vs Pakistan — Second Test, Day II, live from 10 am on TEN Sports

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