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Cricket: Bay Oval gets Boxing Day test

Bay Oval in Tauranga will host a Boxing Day cricket test for the first time this summer, when the Black Caps play Pakistan. Bay Oval in Mt Maunganui. Photo: PHOTOSPORT The summer schedule for the Black Caps has 21 games all up, including four tests two against Pakistan and two against the West Indies. The Bay Oval test will be the eighth Boxing Day Test in New Zealand and the first since 2018. Last summer the Black Caps played Australia in a Boxing Day test in Melbourne - the first time that had happened in over 30 years. The Black Caps begin their home season with a three match T20 series against the West Indies - the first game is in Auckland on November 20th. They then play two tests against the Windies in Hamilton and Wellington. There are also three T20's against Pakistan before two more tests - the Boxing Day one at Mt Maunganui and Hagley Oval in Christchurch. The Black Caps will also play five T20 games against Australia in February and March and then three one dayers and three T20's against Bangladesh subject to getting government approval for the teams to come which New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White is confident will be forthcoming. "I'm thrilled to be making this announcement today, given the uncertainty and difficulties over the past six or seven months....we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the New Zealand government for helping us navigate this complex process," he said. "Hosting these tours is incredibly important to us for two reasons: international cricket brings in revenue that funds the entire game of cricket in New Zealand and, also, it's crucial that we look after the fans of the game and sport in general, especially during these difficult times." White also said ticket prices would be almost halved. "It might sound counter-intuitive to be lowering ticket prices at a time of great additional cost and expense to the game, but we think it's the right thing to do". The White Ferns will host England in February and March and New Zealand Cricket is also negotiating for the Australian women's side to tour here. v West Indies Nov 27th - Eden Park - Black Caps v West Indies T20. Nov 29th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v West Indies T20 Nov 30th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v West Indies T20 Dec 3rd-7th - Seddon Park - Black Caps v West Indies - First Test Dec 11th-15th - Basin Reserve - Black Caps v West Indies - Second Test v Pakistan Dec 18th - Eden Park - Black Caps v Pakistan - T20 Dec 20th - Seddon Park - Black Caps v Pakistan - T20 Dec 22nd - McLean Park - Black Caps v Pakistan - T20 Dec 26th -30th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v Pakistan - First Test Jan 3rd-7th - Hagley Oval - Black Caps v Pakistan - Second Test. v Australia Feb 22nd - Hagley Oval - Black Caps v Australia - T20 Feb 25th - University of Otago Oval - Black Caps v Australia - T20 March 3rd - Sky Stadium, Wellington - Black Caps v Australia - T20 March 7th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v Australia - T20 v Bangladesh March 13th - University of Otago Oval - Black Caps v Bangladesh - One Dayer March 17th - Hagley Oval - Black Caps v Bangladesh - One Dayer March 20th - Basin Reserve - Black Caps v Bangladesh - One Dayer March 23rd - McLean Park - Black Caps v Bangladesh - T20 March 26th - Eden Park - Black Caps v Bangladesh - T20 March 28th - Sedden Park - Black Caps v Bangladesh - T20.
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Today's sports news: What you need to know

Latest - English Premier League champions Liverpool maintained their 100% start to the season with a 3-1 win against Arsenal at Anfield on Monday leaving them level on nine points with pacesetters Everton and Leicester City. Sadio Mane Photo: PHOTOSPORT Arsenal took the lead, totally against the run of play, in the 25th minute with Alexandre Lacazette scoring. However Liverpool responded three minutes later through Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson just before the break. New Liverpool signing Diogo Jota, the Portuguese forward signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers, marked his debut from the bench with the goal in the 88th minute that made sure of the win. The Gunners, who won their first two games, have now gone 28 games without a win away from home against 'Big Six' opposition. Aston Villa moved into the top four after they strolled to a 3-0 win at Fulham thanks to goals from Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Tyrone Mings in a lopsided contest. The result left Villa, who narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight last season, fourth on a maximum six points from two games while promoted Fulham are bottom with no points after a third successive defeat. -Reuters Boks remain in doubt for Rugby Championship The Springboks are "desperate" to play in the Rugby Championship this year, but there remain a number of hurdles before they will commit to the competition, according to director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Rassie Erasmus Photo: Photosport The Southern Hemisphere competition will be staged in Australia from Nov. 7 to Dec. 12, but the defending champion Springboks face being woefully under-prepared, which Erasmus believes could make participation dangerous for the players. "We desperately want to play, it will be terrible to go a year without the Springboks playing," Erasmus said. "But we have had one of the toughest lockdowns in the world and our players were indoors for months. In other countries players could train or at least go to the park to exercise, we did not have that. "So if you look at the science, we have to get five or six matches into the players for their own welfare and to make it safe for them, and we are working out how to do that. Players probably need 500 minutes (of game-time) to be safe." South Africa's domestic competition will only start on Oct. 10 with players having been largely inactive since March. Erasmus reveals the Boks are also facing resistance from English clubs over the release of players in time for the start of the Rugby Championship. -Reuters Serie A continues to lose money Italy's top flight football league has lost almost $900 million in revenues due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the head of Italy's Serie A said, warning the industry was in dire straits. To contain COVID-19 contagion, Italy's government has rejected a proposal to allow more spectators at sporting events, including lifting the current limit of 1,000 spectators at Serie A football matches to fill a quarter of stadium capacity. Matchday revenues account for around 11% of Serie A clubs' $4.5 billion aggregated yearly revenues, whose bulk is made up by broadcasting right sales. But this source of income is also shrinking because broadcasters around the world respond to lower advertising revenues by cutting spending on media right deals. In an effort to cushion the impact of the pandemic on debt-laden clubs, Serie A is considering selling a minority stake in a newly created company handling the League's broadcasting rights for 10 seasons. -Reuters Montana overcomes potential kidnapping Four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana and his wife thwarted a kidnapping attempt over the weekend when a woman entered their house in Malibu, California and grabbed their grandchild. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Montana flagged down a patrol to report that the stranger fled the house without his grandchild when she was confronted. The police said that the 64-year-old and his wife, Jennifer, 62, confronted the woman and pried their grandchild from the woman's arms, at which point she fled, adding that the woman was in custody. No one was injured in the incident. "Thank you to everyone who has reached out," Montana, an NFL Hall of Fame inductee, posted on Twitter. "Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well. We appreciate respect for our privacy at this time." -Reuters Kyrgios takes a crack at Wilander Seven-time grand slam champion Mats Wilander has come under fire from Nick Kyrgios after the Swede suggested Andy Murray should consider whether he has the right to accept wild cards into majors at the expense of emerging young players. Wilander's comments came after three-time grand slam champion Murray's first- round defeat by Stan Wawrinka at the French Open in which he won only six games. It was former world No.1 Murray's joint-worst loss at a grand slam and came on his return to the French Open after a three-year absence, during which he has had two hip surgeries. "I think Murray needs to stop thinking of himself and start thinking about who he was. Does he have a right to be out there taking wild cards from the young players?" Wilander said. Australian Kyrgios, who has skipped the French Open because of the coronavirus pandemic, quickly jumped to the defence of the 33-year-old British player on Twitter. "Just read what Wilander said about andy--murray... shut up Mats, no one cares. Muzz, just know that however long you stay, we all appreciate and enjoy your tennis and banter. -Reuters Saudi Arabia to host womens golf for the first time. Saudi Arabia will host professional golf tournaments for women for the first time ever in November at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Jeddah. The Saudi Ladies International will be the first Ladies European Tour event to take place in the country, with a purse of $1.5. It will be followed by the Saudi Ladies Team International, in which professionals will team up with amateurs and compete for a purse of $750,000. The events will be Saudi Arabia's third and fourth professional tournaments in the past two years, having staged the Saudi International men's event in 2019 and 2020. -Reuters
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Rafa cruises into second round at Roland Garros

Claycourt master Rafael Nadal started his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-2 first-round win against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov. Rafa Nadal Photo: PHOTOSPORT The Spaniard, looking to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, is used to slow starts at Roland Garros and this year's debut was no different. On the revamped court Philippe Chatrier, whose roof stayed open throughout, Nadal converted all of his five break points to set up a meeting with American Mackenzie McDonald. The second seed, who had complained about the new balls being too heavy, did not appear too bothered in front of some 200 fans, wrapping up the match with a service winner. Austria's Dominic Thiem showed no sign of a hangover from his U.S. Open triumph as he began his campaign with an impressive straight sets win over Marin Cilic. Third seed Thiem, beaten by Rafa Nadal in the last two French Open finals, was handed a tough first round against the Croatian former U.S. Open champion, but was straight into the groove under the roof on Court Phillipe Chatrier. France won one of it's stars with eighth seed Gael Monfils beaten by Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in four sets. In the women's draw sixth seed Serena Williams battled sluggish conditions to defeat fellow American Kristie Ahn 7-6, 6-0 to open her campaign. Playing against an opponent she defeated at the same stage at the U.S. Open less than a month ago, Williams found herself trailing twice in the opening set at the Court Philippe Chatrier but rallied each time to force a tiebreaker. Williams, who has won three of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at Roland Garros, raised her level in the tiebreaker and did not look back from there, handing the 102nd-ranked Ahn a bagel in the second set. The 39-year-old had to dig deep to find a way to win points in the cold and heavy conditions and needed five match points to seal the victory and set up a second round meeting against Tsvetana Pironkova, who earlier beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3. 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain narrowly avoided a first-round exit when she battled for three hours to beat Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek 7-5 4-6 8-6. Other first round winners in the women's draw included Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova. -Reuters
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Big names missing from England Roses to meet Silver Ferns

England's biggest netball stars will be missing from the side that meets the Silver Ferns late next month for the first international Tests since Covid-19 disrupted the sport. Jo Harten Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 Head Coach of the Roses, Jess Thirlby has named 16 players who will travel to New Zealand to face the Silver Ferns in three Tests in Hamilton for the Taini Jamison Trophy. The England side are set to arrive on 8 October, after which the team will quarantine for two weeks before facing the world champions on 28 October, 30 October and 1 November. But the Roses, who are currently ranked third in the world, might struggle. None of the Roses who currently play in the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) league in Australia, including the likes of Helen Housby, Jo Harten and Geva Mentor, will be partaking in the series. Nor will Natalie Haythornthwaite, and defenders Layla Guscoth and Stacey Francis after a condensed SSN season which also meant living in a quarantine 'hub' for an extended period. The SSN league, which started late due to the pandemic, has its grand final on 18th October, which could potentially tie up a couple of the English players. Thirlby said while they would miss them it was important they got the opportunity to rest both mentally and physically after an intense season. Serena Guthrie, who had great success in both the New Zealand and Australian domestic leagues, is a world class player and is likely to be named captain for the series. The well-travelled Jade Clarke is by far England's most capped player with 176 Tests, while Kadeen Corbin adds experience to the shooting end with 70 caps. Southern Steel fans will get a sneak peek of their recently signed import George Fisher, who is a tall target in the shooting circle. Defender Fran Williams has shown huge potential for some time and will relish solid court time along with fellow defender Jodie Gibson. Thirlby said the series was a massive opportunity for the team after what had been an extremely difficult period. "After both the Vitality Netball Superleague and the international season were disrupted due to COVID-19, we weren't sure whether we were going to get an opportunity like this in 2020. "I am so proud of how well the Vitality Roses athletes and staff have handled training in a different environment and of how they have come together in uncertain times. I know they're all excited to get out there now and to get playing." Thirlby said it was a great opportunity to blood some new talent in the lead up to a home Commonwealth Games. "We've got a great pool of talent heading out to face the Silver Ferns, including some rising stars like Imogen Allison who is yet to gain her first senior cap, plus some household names such as Serena Guthrie who could achieve her 100th cap during the series and Jade Clarke who is the most capped England player." Thirlby said they were thankful for New Zealand hosting them. "It can't be underestimated what an achievement it is for both nations to enable this opportunity to happen, not only for both nations but for the visibility of international netball and female sport during such challenging times." England Roses squad Jade Clarke Halimat Adio Imogen Allison Serena Guthrie Sophie Drakeford-Lewis Yasmin Parsons Vicki Oyesola Amy Carter Gabriella Marshall Razia Quashie George Fisher Fran Williams Jodie Gibson Eleanor Cardwell Laura Malcolm Kadeen Corbin
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