WI players to get retainer fee
Port-of-Spain: The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has agreed to pay a “retainer fee” to its players from October this year to “ensure that they stay fit and have peace of mind at all times even when they are not playing cricket”.
The decision comes in the wake of protracted negotiations between the WICB and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) for the last many years.
“At this time the WICB is looking at around 20 players for the initial group and is willing to do this at whatever cost because it will certainly assist the competitive life of our best players,” a source in the board said.
The amount of the retainer fee was not immediately known. The WICB and WIPA will work together to ensure that all parties are agreeable to this idea of retainer fee to the players.
SARS cloud over world meet
London: Concerns are growing that next month’s world badminton championships in Birmingham, England, may be called off because of fears over SARS. Many of the sport’s top players are Chinese and many more come from other Asian countries. China, where the deadly virus began, has reported more than 2,400 cases.
The IBF has been monitoring the WHO on a daily basis for the latest developments on SARS and is waiting to hear from Britain’s chief medical officer, Liam Donaldson.
The championships are due to be held from May 12 to 18 at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena.
Aid for ailing Jones
Mumbai: Chairman of the newly formed Hero Indian Sports Academy’s (HISA) and former India cricket captain Kapil Dev has assured monetary aid to ailing two-time former world billiards champion Wilson Jones.
Kapil, who visited the 81-year-old at the Bhatia Hospital here on Thursday, said HISA would make a monetary contribution to the legend during the academy’s sports award ceremony in Delhi on Saturday.
Jones, who suffered a paralytic stroke on the right side of his body recently, was admitted to the hospital on April 2 and his condition has improved immensely, his son Jeff said.
IRB chairman passes away
London: Vernon Pugh, the chairman of the International Rugby Board (IRB), has died of cancer, his office confirmed on Friday.
He was in his late 50s. Pugh was one of the most influential people in the history of the game and oversaw the move to professionalism in 1995.
He established the European Cup as a major competition and was largely responsible for the introduction of Italy to the northern hemisphere’s Six Nations championship.
Pugh had a cancerous tumour removed from a kidney in September 2002 after falling into a coma and had been fighting the illness ever since before his death on Thursday night.
Moscow: The Russian capital will host a $2.4 million international athletics competition on September 20 dubbed the ‘Moscow Challenge’, Russian media reported on Friday.
Some 100 athletes have been invited to take part in the event at Moscow’s Luzhniki Sports Complex.
Top sprinters Maurice Green and Tim Montgomery have already signed on, the Kommersant reported.
Moscow harbours hopes of hosting the 2012 Summer Games. It was the site of the 1980 Summer Olympics.
Pawar stays at MCA helm
Mumbai: Maharashtra strongman Sharad Pawar was Friday declared re-elected unopposed as the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). MCA vice-president Pravin Barve said the election of other office bearers will take place April 30.
Sport on screen
Cricket, SA in Bangladesh: First Test, day III, live from 9.25 am on STAR Sports n Cricket, NZ in Lanka: First Test, Day II, live from 9.30 am on TEN Sports n Soccer, Premier League: Live from 7.25 pm on ESPN and STAR Sports n Soccer, Spanish League: Live from 1.00 am (Sunday) on ESPN