Ali to fight for a different cause
Kabul: Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday on a visit to highlight reconstruction in the devastated country in his role as a United Nations peace ambassador.
Ali flew into Kabul’s international airport before embarking on a brief programme which is to include a meeting with president Hamid Karzai.
UN spokesman Manoele Almeida da Silva said Ali, a long-time humanitarian campaigner, would visit a girls’ school and a women’s bakery during the three-day trip to highlight the country’s needs. Ali, who held the world heavyweight title between 1964 and 1967 and again in 1974, once enjoyed enormous popularity in Afghanistan, particularly following his conversion to Islam at the height of his fame.
Mark escapes charge
Sydney: Discarded Test batsman Mark Waugh escaped with a warning after pleading guilty to a charge of dissent in an Australian inter-state match on Sunday, his first offence of that nature in 18 years of first-class cricket.
Mark, who was once fined by the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) for accepting money from an illegal Indian bookmaker, escaped a more serious penalty after the umpire who reported him, Darrell Hair, spoke in his defence.
Hair placed Mark on report after the 37-year-old player was given out caught behind for a duck while batting for New South Wales against South Australia. Mark unhappy at the decision, stood his ground with his hand on his hip then exchanged words with Hair as he left the field.
Stam keen to join City
London: Lazio defender Jaap Stam is keen to return to the English Premier League with a move to Manchester City, British newspapers reported on Sunday.
The Dutch international, who joined Italian club Lazio from Manchester United for £16 million ($25.27 million) 14 months ago, was quoted as saying he was interested in joining City. “I know there is interest in me in Italy from Inter, AC Milan and Juventus,” he said. “But the biggest interest is in England, particularly Manchester City, and that is a move that would really appeal to me.”
Australia’s best yet to give up
Sydney: Petria Thomas, Australia’s best female swimmer, has shelved plans to retire from the sport, saying she wants to continue through to the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Thomas had hinted she would hang up her goggles after winning five gold medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
But the triple world champion said she was feeling refreshed after a short break and is now determined to go on to Greece in the hope of winning the one major title that has eluded her.
Randhawa finishes 10th
New Delhi: Jyoti Randhawa of India climbed into the top 10 of the $1 million TCL Classic golf tournament in Dongguan, China.
According to information received here, Randhawa, on his comeback from a motorcycle accident that left him with a broken shoulder, finished tenth with a total of six-under 282 with his final round card being a two-under 70. His other rounds were 70, 73 and 69. Randhawa took home $20,000.
Colin Montgomerie won the title in Dongguan. The Scot, who shared the Volvo Masters title in Spain last week, finished with a five-under 67 and a total of 16-under 272.
Zico loses mother
Tokyo: Japan coach Zico is to return to Brazil after the sudden death of his mother. Zico’s mother, Matilde Dasilva Coimbra, died from multiple organ failure at a Rio hospital on Saturday after being diagnosed with cancer last month, according to Kyodo.
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