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Since 1st March, 1999
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Two operations rule out Astle

Christchurch: New Zealand’s record-breaking batsman Nathan Astle will miss the forthcoming Test series in Sri Lanka after having two operations in the last week, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced on Tuesday.

Astle, who hit the fastest double century in Tests after taking just 153 balls against England in Christchurch in 2002, was ruled out of the series in Sri Lanka after undergoing surgery for a hernia and on a patella tendon tear in his left knee. “Both operations appear to have been successful and Nathan is now recovering at his home,” said NZC medical adviser Warren Frost.

Frost added that NZC hoped Astle would be ready to return for the tour of India in October.

The first Test against Sri Lanka is in Colombo starting on Friday. The second game in the two-Test series is in Kandy starting on May 3.

Rogge recovering well

London: Olympic chief Jacques Rogge is fit, well and looking forward to getting back to work after heart surgery, the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.

Rogge, himself a former surgeon, underwent “minor” surgery in Belgium last Tuesday to fix a faulty heart valve, an IOC spokesman said from their Swiss Lausanne headquarters.

“He underwent arthroscopic surgery,” the spokesman said. “And he is currently recovering.

“He is well and should be discharged from hospital in the next few days. The president is in contact with his IOC colleagues and will be back in the office on May 5.”

Rogge, who turns 61 next month, was a yachting competitor at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games and won 10 caps for the Belgian national rugby team.

Maharashtra dominate meet

Dehradun: Maharashtra A and B teams entered the semi-finals with a dominating performance at the ONGC Summer National Bridge Championship here.

Maharashtra A maintained a clean slate in the quarter final round robin matches to emerge as the top team with 145 VPs while Maharashtra B finished second with 134 points.

Orissa (118) and Tamil Nadu (112) were the other teams who made it to the semi-finals.

Costly for Romario

Sao Paulo: Veteran Brazilian striker Romario must pay $600,000 to Qatari club al Sadd if he wants to terminate his contract and return home, according to a report in the Globo newspaper.

The 36-year-old signed a $1.5-million, three-month contract with the Gulf side in March and the deal is due to expire on May 31.

According to Globo, the striker is negotoiating a way out of the deal but al Sadd are demanding $600,000 in compensation.

It has been reported that Brazilian club Flamengo, where Romario played on and off between 1995 and 1999, are interested in signing him.

1-match ban on Bellamy

London: England’s Football Association has fined and handed a one-match ban to Newcastle United’s Craig Bellamy and said it had requested a video of Sol Campbell’s sending-off in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

The FA also said on Tuesday it was consulting with police over incidents involving players during and after West Ham United’s 1-0 Premier League defeat at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

n Cricket, West Indies vs Australia — Second Test, Day V live from 7.30 pm on ESPN n General, School Quiz from 11.30 pm on ESPN n Soccer, Uefa Champions League, live from midnight on ESPN

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