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Sky Sports Today - Thursday March 21

Sky Sports Today - Thursday March 21


    Welcome to Sky Sports Today. We'll bring you all latest ahead of the third and final Test between New Zealand and England plus the all the build up to the World Cup qualifiers.
    3/21/2013 7:53:17 AM

    England captain Alastair Cook has confirmed Jonny Bairstow will replace the injured Kevin Pietersen against New Zealand.
    Obviously, it's a blow when you lose one of your senior batters and a guy who's performed consistently well for us over a number of years. He's a great player, and will be missed but it gives an opportunity to Jonny Bairstow coming in.
    Remember you can watch the third Test between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 9pm.
    3/21/2013 8:03:18 AM

    Steven Gerrard is determined to fire England to Brazil in 2014 and get a chance to eradicate some of his personal demons. The Liverpool midfielder is desperate to make up for past failures at big tournaments and have one last shot at becoming a "hero in an England shirt".
    3/21/2013 8:04:48 AM

    Lleyton Hewitt held off Joao Sousa's late rally to reach the second round of the ATP Sony Open in Miami. For all the latest news from the first round, click here.
    3/21/2013 8:06:28 AM

    Marc Jones claims the exciting young talent at Sale Sharks has convinced him to sign a new deal at the club.
    Going forward I do see Sale bouncing back from where we are at the moment. I'm pleased with the players that we have in the squad and I trust everyone around me so I was more than happy to commit to the club.
    Can Sale avoid the drop this season? Let us know via @skysports. Include #skysportstoday in your tweets
    3/21/2013 8:09:16 AM

    South Africa won the toss for the fourth one-day international against Pakistan and opted to bat first at Kingsmead. 
    Sky Sports subscribers can watch the action online here. Alternative you can follow text commentary here
    3/21/2013 8:13:24 AM

    Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre says Luis Suarez will remain at Anfield after comments emerged in Uruguay that the striker would consider leaving the club. The 26-year-old, speaking to AFP in Montevideo ahead of Uruguay's World Cup qualifier with Paraguay, said of his future:
    You never know in football. A player's ambition is always there, the ambition of wanting to play in elite teams is always there. I'm in a world-class team, an elite team like Liverpool and if another team comes around with more prospects of competing in international club competition games, which is willing to show me love, they are welcome. We would talk to the club, we would see if I want to go, and if I did - we would look to agree it.
    Ayre is confident Suarez will stay and responded by saying:
    He has a four-year contract. We hope he will see it through.
    3/21/2013 8:28:14 AM

    Newcastle United defender Massadio Haidara has admitted his surprise that Callum McManaman will not be facing punishment for a tackle which he feels could have ruined his life. Haidara was stretchered off in Sunday's game after being caught by a high challenge from McManaman, who was not disciplined by referee Mark Halsey and cannot face retrospective action as the incident was seen by at least one of the match officials. Haidara is waiting to discover the extent of the damage but was astonished to learn that McManaman had escaped a ban, telling Le Parisien it was 'hard to swallow'
    I don't understand. His tackle could have ended my career and ruined my life but in the end he will play football before me. We have to protect the players. I don't want to change the physical mentality, pace and commitment of football in England but we can't tolerate tackles like this in football.
    3/21/2013 8:34:53 AM

    Aviva Premiership club Exeter Chiefs have secured Alex Brown, Dave Ewers and Tom Cowan-Dickie on new contracts. Head coach Rob Baxter feels the new contracts are just reward for their progress at the top-flight club.
    We like to reward guys that take opportunities and who do well for us - and these three guys are all in that category. All of them are young; they've all developed well over the past 12 months, yet we still feel there is more to come from each of them.
    3/21/2013 8:35:39 AM

    [pt]Here are some lines from the morning papers which are dominated by build-up to the World Cup qualifiers.
    THE MIRROR: Liverpool and Manchester United are tracking Brazilian centre-half Dede, 24, after Rio de Janeiro club Vasco da Gama admitted they need to sell to ease their financial problems.
    THE SUN: Wojciech Szczesny's dad has accused Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger of destroying his son by forcing the keeper to play when he was injured.
    DAILY STAR: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is Real Madrid's top summer target
    DAILY MAIL: Manchester United will offer Anderson and Nani in part-exchange for 21-year-old Porto winger James Rodriguez who has a buy-out clause of £36m.
    3/21/2013 8:39:23 AM

    The Miami Heat battled back from the brink to record a 98-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers - their 24th successive win this season. The San Antonio Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets were also among the big winners on Wednesday night. For a full round-up, click here.
    3/21/2013 8:41:33 AM

    [tedkravitz]We're building up to the Malaysia Grand Prix all day and Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz and David Croft  have been arguing the case for a McLaren recovery from their awful start to the season in Australia. Ted believes they'll struggle again in Kuala Lumpur
    The McLaren is very difficult to set up and the changes they have made to the car this year with the suspension and everything, it just takes them a long time. There is a very small window where the car is good and they are nowhere near getting that window right.
    David Croft adds
    I don't want to write anybody off but McLaren are so far behind I don't see them being in a position to play catch up when they finally do get going. They are scrapping for the final spots in Q3 with the likes of Force India and Sauber and that's not championship form by any stretch of the imagination.
    3/21/2013 8:56:06 AM

    South Africa will be regretting opting to bat first against Pakistan at Kingsmead. They have been reduced to 38-4 off 10 overs. The Proteas currently lead the ODI series 2-1 but two wickets apiece from Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan has put the tourists in a strong position.
    Sky Sports subscribers can watch the action online here. Alternative you can follow text commentary here
    3/21/2013 8:58:46 AM

    A blow to Northern Ireland ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Israel with striker Will Grigg set to miss the double header. The in-form Walsall player made his first international start in last month's goalless draw in Malta and was favourite to lead the line against Russia in the absence of the suspended Kyle Lafferty. But he was unable to train yesterday due to a hamstring problem and is likely to be sidelined.
    3/21/2013 8:59:20 AM

    Brendon McCullum says the absence of Kevin Pietersen from the England side is a boost for New Zealand.
    Pietersen is one of those who can take the game away from you pretty quickly so, even though he wasn't at his best in this series, he was still able to make an impact in the last Test (when the England man scored 73).
    Remember you can watch the third Test between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 9pm.
    3/21/2013 9:05:23 AM

    [ssn]Lewis Hamilton has been speaking ahead of the Malaysia Grand Prix and admits that with a better set up to his Mercedes he can go even better than in the season-opener in Melbourne and thinks the team are a lot closer to a win this time around. 
    3/21/2013 9:05:47 AM

    [ssn] Craig Slater has also been talking to McLaren's Jenson Button about the issues the team have had in the early part of the season. There have been reports they may revert to last year's model but Button says the team will continue to work with their 2013 charger
    It's better to stick to the plan and develop and improve what we have. We have got a car and we are trying to make the best of what we have. McLaren is a front-running team and they know how to develop cars. We know we are not where we would like to be - but we know where we need to be.
    3/21/2013 9:08:50 AM
  • Alastair Cook looks ahead to the third and final Test against New Zealand. Remember you can watch the action live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 9pm.

    3/21/2013 9:11:06 AM

    There's some transfer news reaching us from Germany, with Borussia Dortmund confirming their liking for Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, although the Bundesliga side's general manager Michael Zorc insists that they have not agreed a deal with the Premier League champions.
    It would be down to pure maths because Edin Dzeko is under contract at Manchester City beyond the end of the season.
    Click here to read the full story as Dzeko is linked with a move away from Man City.
    3/21/2013 9:15:14 AM
  • [bn]Sky F1 sources: Merger talks have begun between Marussia and Caterham
    3/21/2013 9:21:16 AM
  • GOLF

    Luke Donald endured a difficult start to the Maybank Malaysian Open, with the world No 3 signing for a two-over opening round of 74. Donald picked up three bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies on his tournament debut. 
    For the latest from the event click here or watch the action live on Sky Sports 2 HD.
    3/21/2013 9:23:20 AM

    [ssn]Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has told Sky Sports News he believes the Football Association should have taken action against Wigan's Callum McManaman following his horror challenge on Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara.
    Clearly this was an incident which was within the margins. If the FA had come out and decided to take some action, I don’t think anybody in the game – other than a relatively small minority – would have criticised them for doing that.
    3/21/2013 9:35:51 AM

    Sir Alex Ferguson and Nani are likely to discover what punishments they face from the fall-out of Manchester United's Champions League exit to Real Madrid later today. Ferguson may face sanctions for refusing to attend the post-match press briefings.
    3/21/2013 9:38:30 AM

    [ssn]Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has also been speaking to Sky Sports News about his opposition to suggestions that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be moved away from the traditional summer slot and become a winter tournament.
    Something would have to give in terms of our rich football heritage, FA Cups, League Cups, the way the professional game in this country is organised, it would be hugely difficult to do.

    3/21/2013 9:51:09 AM
  • GOLF

    Play at the Maybank Malaysian Open has been abandoned for the day due to thunderstorms. The first round is now scheduled to resume at 7.45am local time on Friday. Latest leaderboard
    3/21/2013 9:57:25 AM

    There are some strong words from Richard Bevan, chief executive of the League Managers' Association, who has branded the sacking culture in English football an 'arrogant embarrassment'.
    That's over 100 people, 100 managers, 100 families. It takes two years to get back into the game and the volatility of the job is undermining the profession of coaching.
    Click here to read the full story as Bevan slams the sacking culture in English football.
    3/21/2013 9:58:54 AM

    David De Gea believes he has matured as a player and person since his move to Manchester United 18 months ago.
    I've changed a lot in Manchester. I've spent two years in their football culture and it makes you change.
    Click here to read the full story on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
    3/21/2013 10:06:50 AM

    Bradford co-chairman Gerry Sutcliffe is confident the Bulls will be granted a full Super League licence for 2014 within the next fortnight.
    The indications the RFL are giving us is that they're happy with our progress and we don't expect there to be any problems.
    3/21/2013 10:20:22 AM
  • [bn]Former 200m Olympic champion and world record holder Pietro Mennea has died aged 60.
    3/21/2013 10:21:26 AM

    You can now watch video highlights from all this week's Football League action for free online. See all the goals from the victories for Oldham, Swindon, Bury and Crewe in League One, plus the six matches in League Two.
    3/21/2013 10:22:59 AM

    Ed Chamberlin fears for Sunderland's Premier League future after their loss to 10-man Norwich on Super Sunday.
    Sunderland's performance against Norwich on Super Sunday was alarming and they look devoid of confidence and any momentum at just the wrong time and, as our studio guest Andy Cole explained after the game, they created virtually nothing in the 60 minutes against 10 men.
    3/21/2013 10:26:47 AM
  • [bn] Second leg of Chelsea's Europa League quarter-final against Rubin Kazan moved to Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
    3/21/2013 10:29:10 AM

    The Football League has announced the shortlist of nominees for their annual Player of the Year awards on Sunday.
    • Thomas Ince (Blackpool)
    • Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace)
    • Matej Vydra (Watford)
    League One
    • Leon Clarke (Coventry)
    • Alan Judge (Notts County)
    • Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth)
    League Two
    • Jamie Cureton (Exeter)
    • Gary Jones (Bradford)
    • Tom Pope (Port Vale)
    Young player of the year
    • Thomas Ince (Blackpool)
    • Matej Vydra (Watford)
    • Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
    Join the debate on who you think should win the awards and have your say using the #skysportstoday hashtag
    3/21/2013 10:39:09 AM
  • 3/21/2013 10:44:04 AM

    [ssn]Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has been speaking to Sky Sports News after being left out of the starting XI for the Gunners' last two games.
    Of course I want to play every game, you play for a big club so you know that can happen and I have played a lot of games. I am not out of the rhythm at the moment and I am not worried. 
    Click here to watch the full interview with Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.
    3/21/2013 10:53:49 AM

    Tonga international Ofa Fainga'anuku will join Worcester Warriors from Glasgow ahead of the 2013/14 Premiership campaign. Worcester head coach Richard Hill is delighted with the new addition to his squad.
    We looked at a number of props and there were several looseheads in the market and available. However, when all the coaches sat down and looked at video, it was very clear that Ofa was the one who made us all stand up. We quickly realised there was something special about him, he has that X-Factor.
    3/21/2013 10:56:01 AM
  • 3/21/2013 11:02:10 AM

    Reports are reaching us from Portugal that Sporting Lisbon have reached a deal to sell star striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel to Norwich City. We'll bring you more on this story as we get it throughout the day.
    3/21/2013 11:10:03 AM
  • GOLF

    Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat leads after a weather-affected first day of the Maybank Malaysian Open, as pre-favourite tournament Luke Donald toiled to a two-over 74.
    3/21/2013 11:12:32 AM

    Rio Ferdinand has taken to Twitter to defend his trip to Qatar despite a back problem which requires delicate fitness management ruling him out of England duty.
    Flown out for some pre-planned downtime...with a bit of punditry thrown in for a game I would have watched anyway. No different from what I done on the last 10day international break...thank you guys.
    Click here to read the full story on Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
    3/21/2013 11:20:04 AM
  • [skybet] Sky Bet have opened betting on Luis Suarez's next club, with Bayern Munich and PSG installed as the 7/1 joint favourites to secure the Liverpool striker's signature this summer.  

    3/21/2013 11:23:44 AM
  • [bn] Greg Dyke to succeed David Bernstein as Football Association chairman in July, subject to approval by FA council.
    3/21/2013 11:26:56 AM

    Greg Dyke will take over as FA chairman from July 13.

    I am very excited to take on this role with The FA. At the grass roots seven million people play football every weekend, women’s football is booming and the ambition is for it to be the second biggest team participation sport in England behind only the men’s game, we have the best known, most successful league in the world with the Premier League and the Football League is so much stronger than it was eight years or nine ago.
    Click here to read the full story on Greg Dyke's appointment as the new FA chairman.
    3/21/2013 11:31:08 AM

    Luke Dorn's latest blog sees the London Bronco discuss what he feels has been a relatively slow start to the new Super League season as teams focus on the long-term plans, rather than short-term results...
    I do think that people are now less concerned with how they begin the year. Leeds have taught us that it is not how you start, more about how you finish that matters
    3/21/2013 11:38:20 AM

    FIFA has moved to clarify an interview with Sepp Blatter in which the world governing body's president suggested the vote to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be re-run.
    As it stands today, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is planned to be staged in Qatar in June/July 2022.

    Click here to read the full statement from FIFA in the wake of recent comments by Sepp Blatter.
    3/21/2013 11:52:32 AM
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