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Britain bestows honours

London: Britain honoured its Olympic heroes on Friday, knighting four-time gold medallist Matthew Pinsent and making middle-distance runner Kelly Holmes a dame.

Holmes' victories in the 800 and 1,500 metres made her a national heroine while rower Pinsent's tears on the rostrum after winning with the men's coxless four moved the nation. His fellow oarsmen in Athens were also recognised in Queen Elizabeth's New Year's Honours List. James Cracknell becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) while Ed Coode and Steve Williams are made Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Elsewhere in the world of sport, Colin Montgomerie, linchpin of Europe's golfing Ryder Cup win over the US, receives an OBE as does British Rugby League captain Andrew Farrell.

Indo-Pak clash

New Delhi: Hockey veterans from India and Pakistan will battle it out in the first-ever 'Test' series of its kind scheduled to begin here on February 23.

India will host the first four games of the seven-match series while Pakistan will stage the remaining, president of Indian Hockey Veteran Association Bhupinder Singh Suri said.

The other matches of the Indian leg will be in Jalandhar (Feb. 26), Chandigarh (Feb. 27) and Patiala/Amritsar (March 1), he said.

Pakistan will host the matches in Lahore (March 3), Faisalabad (March 5) and Rawalpindi (March 6).

Coach quits

Tokyo: Iraq soccer coach Adnan Hamd has walked out on the national team after his home was destroyed. Hamd, who took Iraq to the Asian Cup quarter finals and the last four of the Athens Olympics this year, quit just three weeks after being named Asian coach of the year.

'I was hoping that I could continue... but there are a lot of security problems in Iraq,' Hamd was quoted by Footbal Asia.com on Friday. 'I have just received a call that my home was destroyed... this situation is very hard for me.'

Tennis: Road to Australian Open from 9 am on STAR Sports
Soccer: Premier League live from 8.30 pm on ESPN and STAR Sports

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