Loyola-Chicago looks to extend streak vs Valpo

first_imgTEAM LEADERSHIP: This game represents an Illinois homecoming for Crusaders sophomore Javon Freeman-Liberty, who’s averaging 19.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals this season. He’s been complemented nicely by Donovan Clay, who’s recording 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. On the other bench, Cameron Krutwig has averaged 15 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists while Tate Hall has put up 13.1 points.DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Ramblers have allowed just 57.9 points per game to conference opponents so far, an improvement from the 63.4 per game they allowed in non-conference play.KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Krutwig has been directly responsible for 51 percent of all Loyola of Chicago field goals over the last five games. The junior big man has 33 field goals and 24 assists in those games.WINLESS WHEN: Valparaiso is 0-6 when scoring fewer than 63 points and 12-6 when scoring at least 63.TWO STREAKS: Valparaiso has dropped its last four road games, scoring 64.3 points and allowing 74.5 points during those contests. Loyola of Chicago has won its last five home games, scoring an average of 68.2 points while giving up 51.2. Loyola-Chicago looks to extend streak vs Valpo DID YOU KNOW: The tough Loyola of Chicago defense has held opponents to 60.7 points per game, the 13th-lowest mark in Division I. Valparaiso has allowed an average of 72.3 points through 24 games (ranking the Crusaders 231st).___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditValparaiso (12-12, 5-6) vs. Loyola of Chicago (15-9, 7-4)Joseph J. Gentile Center, Chicago; Sunday, 4 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Loyola of Chicago looks for its seventh straight win in the head-to-head series over Valparaiso. In its last six wins against the Crusaders, Loyola of Chicago has won by an average of 11 points. Valparaiso’s last win in the series came on Feb. 19, 2013, an 85-76 victory.center_img Associated Press February 7, 2020last_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgBallots from some 2,500 members now are due at 11:59 EDT on Saturday. The NFL Players Association gave no reason for the extension, though reaching so many players to meet the previous deadline of one week certainly can present logistical problems.The 32 NFL owners approved the deal last month. The NFLPA’s executive board then rejected it 6-5, but the player reps voted 17-14 in favor.A simple majority of the union membership is required to accept or reject the contract that would run through the 2030 season.SPORTS-VIRUS-OUTBREAKMore sporting events affected by spread of virus Update on the latest in sports: Associated Press UNDATED (AP) — Second-ranked Gonzaga meets San Francisco in tonight’s college basketball action. The only other ranked team in action is number-14 BYU, which plays Saint Mary’s.NBA-SCHEDULEBucks meet Nuggets, still without MVPUNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks will again be without MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s nursing a sprained knee, as they visit the Denver Nuggets tonight.The Bucks lost Friday night against the Lakers, in the game in which he was injured, and then lost to Phoenix last night. Verlander doesn’t expect to be ready for opening dayWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Houston ace Justin Verlander has a mild strain of a back muscle and said it would “probably take a miracle” for him to pitch in the Astros’ opener at Oakland on March 26.The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner was hurt on his second-to-last pitch in Sunday’s exhibition game against the New York Mets. He had an MRI on Monday and was diagnosed with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle. There is not a timetable for his return.Verlander had a similar lat injury during spring training in 2015 and did not make his season debut until June 13. Elsewhere around major league training camps: The people spoke to The AP on Monday on the condition of anonymity because the signing has not been announced. NFL Network first reported the deal.  Norman is an eighth-year player who spent the past four seasons in Washington before being released last month. He struggled to play to high expectations and was cut with one season left on a five-year $75 million contract he signed in free agency in 2016.In Buffalo, he is reunited with coach Sean McDermott, who served as Carolina’s defensive coordinator during Norman’s first four NFL seasons.In other NFL player news:— New York Giants tight end Rhett Ellison has retired after eight seasons in the NFL. Ellison played at Southern California before being selected in the fourth-round of the 2012 draft by the Vikings. He spent five years in Minnesota before joining the Giants as a free agent in 2017. His 2019 season was cut short due to a concussion suffered against the Jets on Nov. 10.  After losing three in a row, the Toronto Raptors have won three straight, and they will look to extend that streak tonight in Utah against the Jazz.In tonight’s other NBA contest, the Atlanta Hawks host the Charlotte Hornets.NBA-CLIPPERS-NOAHClippers sign free-agent NoahLOS ANGELES (AP) — The Clippers have signed free-agent center Joakim Noah. UNDATED (AP) — All sports in Italy will be halted because of the virus outbreak.Premier Giuseppe Conte announces that games and travel will be banned nationwide through April 3. That includes games in the country’s top soccer division and preparatory events for the Tokyo Olympics. Serie A has not been canceled since World War II.Events around the world have been affected by the spreading virus. The BNP Paribas Open, set to begin this week in the California desert, won’t be played as scheduled after a case of the virus was confirmed in the Coachella Valley. The announcement to cancel the tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, came after many players were already in the desert practicing. Qualifying matches were to begin Monday, with women’s main draw matches starting Wednesday and the men’s draw beginning Thursday.French police say the Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund at Parc des Princes will be played without fans. It is the second of the four matches in the competition this week to be played in an empty stadium. UNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Blues, winners of nine of their last ten, host the Florida Panthers in one of the five games on the NHL schedule.The Vegas Golden Knights, who regained the top spot in the Pacific Division last night, skate at Edmonton.The Washington Capitals, who are now battling with Philadelphia for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, visit the Buffalo Sabres.Arizona is at Winnipeg, and Los Angeles hosts Colorado. The Kings have won five straight.MLB-NEWS The 35-year-old two-time All-Star played 42 games with Memphis last season after agreeing to a buyout with the New York Knicks. Noah averaged 7.1 points, 2.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds for the Grizzlies.He’s been limited to 124 games since the end of the 2014-15 season in Chicago, which selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft.Noah was the NBA defensive player of the year in 2014. NHL-SCHEDULEBlues host Panthers Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditCOLLEGE BASKETBALL POLLKansas retains top spotUNDATED (AP) — Kansas maintained its grip on the No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll. The virus also forced the postponement of the Six Nations rugby match between France and Ireland. French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu says the decision was taken after discussions with tournament organizers and the French rugby federation.HORSE RACING-DRUGSTrainers, vets among more than two dozen chargedNEW YORK (AP) — The trainer of champion Maximum Security is among more than two dozen people charged in what authorities describe as a widespread international scheme to drug horses to make them race faster.The charges against horse trainers, veterinarians and others were detailed in four indictments unveiled Monday in Manhattan federal court. Among them is trainer Jason Servis, whose stable includes last year’s 3-year-old champion Maximum Security. He was charged with administering performance-enhancing drugs to that horse and others. — The Las Vegas Raiders have released linebacker Tahir Whitehead after two seasons as a starter. The move saves the Raiders more than $6 million on the salary cap for 2020 as the team looks to overhaul a struggling defense. Whitehead was originally signed to a three-year, $19 million deal as a free agent in 2018 and started all 32 games with the Raiders the past two seasons. Whitehead led the team with 234 tackles but delivered few big plays with only one interception, one forced fumble and no sacks over the two seasons.— The Detroit Lions have announced their coaching staff for the 2020 season, including five new hires. Tyrone McKenzie is taking over as linebackers coach, Tony Carter has been hired as a defensive assistant, Morris Henry and Tom Kanavy are new assistant strength and conditioning coaches, and Ty Warren joins the team as part of the William Clay Ford minority coaching assistantship program. Detroit also announced three promotions: Josh Schuler was moved to head strength and conditioning coach. Steve Gregory was promoted to defensive backs coach and Ben Johnson to tight ends coach.NFL-LABORUnion extends vote deadlineNEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players’ union has extended the deadline for its members to vote on a new labor agreement with the league by two days to Saturday night. Authorities say the drugs can cause horses to overexert themselves, leading to heart issues or death.Maximum Security crossed the finish line first at the 2019 Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for interference and has since won four of his five high-profile races. March 9, 2020 — Clayton Kershaw will start the Los Angeles Dodgers’ opener against the visiting San Francisco Giants on March 26. Kershaw will extend his franchise record for opening day starts to nine. His streak of consecutive opening day starts was stopped last year when he began the season on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation and was replaced by Hyun-Jin Ryu.— The Milwaukee Brewers will be paying Christian Yelich until 2042, when the All-Star outfielder is 50 years old. Yelich’s $215 million, nine-year contract with the team calls for Brewers to defer $4 million each year from his $26 million annual salary from 2022-28. The 28-year-old outfielder is a two-time All-Star and a one-time Gold Glove winner.NFL-NEWSNorman reportedly agrees to deal with BillsBUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Two people with knowledge of the decision tell The Associated Press that veteran cornerback Josh Norman has agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills. The Jayhawks received all 65 first-place votes to remain at the top for a third straight week. The past two weeks they have been the unanimous choice ahead of Gonzaga and Dayton.Florida State climbed three spots to No. 4 after winning its first Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title. This is FSU’s highest ranking since sitting at No. 2 in December 1972.West Virginia and Butler were the week’s new additions. Michigan and Penn State fell out of the poll.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SCHEDULEGonzaga in actionlast_img read more

The Latest: Brescia would forfeit matches if play resumes

first_imgBrescia is the third-worst hit province in Italy with more than 8,500 coronavirus cases and more than 1,300 deaths.In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Cellino says “this season doesn’t make sense anymore.”He says “returning to activity is pure craziness. If they force us to I am ready to not put out the team and lose the matches 3-0 by default out of respect for the citizens of Brescia and their loved ones who aren’t here anymore.”Brescia is in last place in the league standings. The president of Lazio recently accused Cellino of trying to avoid relegation.Cellino says “I don’t care at all about relegation. So far we have deserved it and I have my blame in that, too.” The Latest: Brescia would forfeit matches if play resumes April 2, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the new coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Brescia president Massimo Cellino says he will forfeit his team’s remaining Serie A matches if the Italian soccer league resumes. The AFC is planning for a 2027 tournament but a FIFA task force drafting a future calendar of matches and tournaments will likely be asked to align continental championships. The European Championship and South America’s Copa America are on track to kick off in June 2028.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Associated Press ___Potential hosts of soccer’s 2027 Asian Cup have been given more time to enter the contest by the Asian Football Confederation.The AFC says the March deadline to show interest was extended by three months to June because many of its member federations have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.The Saudi Arabian soccer body said in February it wanted to host the 24-team tournament.China will host the 2023 edition. A return to western Asia is possible after the United Arab Emirates staged the 2019 tournament.last_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_img Associated Press Moss was affectionately known as “Mr. Motor Racing” and had a fearless and often reckless attitude. That took a toll on his slight body and his career ended at age 31 after a horrific crash. Moss won 16 of the 66 F1 races he entered.He said, “If you’re not trying to win at all costs, what on earth are you doing there?”Moss was hospitalized with a chest infection in 2016 that led to him retiring from public life in 2018.SPORTS-VIRUS OUTBREAKSpanish soccer team to resume training Update on the latest in sports: April 13, 2020 Golf standout Doug Sanders diesUNDATED (AP) — Doug Sanders brought a flamboyance to golf fashion ahead of his time, a colorful character known as much for the 20 times he won on the PGA Tour as the majors that got away.Sanders died Sunday morning in Houston, the PGA Tour confirmed through a text from Sanders’ ex-wife, Scotty. He was 86.Sanders was still an amateur when he won his first PGA Tour event in 1956 at the Canadian Open in a playoff. His best year was in 1961 when he won five times and finished third on the PGA Tour money list.But he is best known for four runner-up finishes in the majors, the most memorable at St. Andrews in the 1970 British Open. Needing to sink a 3-foot par putt on the final hole to beat Jack Nicklaus, Sanders muffed it before losing to Nicklaus in a playoff the following day. The four-time All-Star second baseman has died of natural causes at age 79, according to his family.Beckert won a Gold Glove in 1968 before earning All-Star berths over the next four seasons. He had the best strikeout-to-at-bat ratio in the National League five times and finished third in average when he hit a career-high .342 in 1971.Beckert teamed with shortstop Don Kessinger for his entire nine-year Cubs career to form one of the best double-play combinations in baseball.Beckert compiled a .283 average in an 11-year career that began with the 1965 Cubs and ended with the 1975 Padres.GOLF-SANDERS OBIT Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-OBIT-BECKERTFour–time All-Star Beckert diesCHICAGO (AP) — Glenn Beckert’s baseball exploits can be overshadowed by his four Hall of Fame teammates, but his contributions were vital to the success of the Chicago Cubs during the late 1960s and early 70s. AUTO RACING-OBIT-MOSSFormer Formula One driver Stirling Moss dead at 90LONDON (AP) — Motor racing great Stirling Moss has died at the age of 90.The daring and speed-loving Englishman was widely regarded as the greatest Formula One driver never to win the world championship.Moss’ wife says he died peacefully at his London home following a long illness. Susan Moss says “it was one lap too many. He just closed his eyes.” UNDATED (AP) — A Spanish soccer team plans to have its players resume training individually this week. Real Sociedad (ray-AL’ soh-see-ay-DAHD’) would become the first Spanish soccer club to resume activities during the coronavirus pandemic.The club says players will have the option to start practicing at the team’s training center after the Spanish government decided to ease some of its lockdown measures. Non-essential workers will be allowed to return to their positions this week while observing social-distancing guidelines and other restrictions.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Former British soccer star Kenny Dalglish has expressed “immense gratitude” to National Health Service staff after returning home from the hospital following his coronavirus diagnosis. The 69-year-old former Celtic, Scotland and Liverpool forward was hospitalized Wednesday for treatment on gallstones and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 despite not showing symptoms.— Smaller cities and communities are dealing with the cancellation of showcase sporting events. For Oklahoma City, that means losing the Women’s College World Series. The annual event determines the NCAA softball championship. It has been hosted by Oklahoma City every year but one since 1990. Last year, it brought in an estimated $14 million to the city and its businesses. Even more was expected this year because of a stadium seating expansion.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Stokes, Morgan among eight England players at IPL

first_imgEIGHT England players are set to appear at the Indian Premier League (IPL) when the 10th edition of the competition begins today.Ben Stokes became the IPL’s most expensive foreign player when Rising Pune Supergiants bought him for £1.7M.Bowler Tymal Mills, bought for £1.4M by Royal Challengers Bangalore, could face former international team-mate Chris Jordan in the opening match.Jordan’s Sunrisers Hyderabad play RCB in Deccan at 15:30 BST.The Sunrisers, captained by Australia international David Warner, beat RCB in the final of the 2016 competition.All-rounder Stokes could be in action tomorrow when his side play Mumbai Indians, who have wicketkeeper Jos Buttler in their ranks.The competition features some of the best Twenty20 players in the world, including South Africa’s AB de Villiers, Australia batsman Aaron Finch and India captain Virat Kohli.England one-day captain Eoin Morgan joined Kings XI Punjab for £240 066, while limited-overs opening batsman Jason Roy was sold to Gujarat Lions and all-rounder Chris Woakes was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for £504 140.Sam Billings was also kept on by Delhi Daredevils during the first round of the auction.Fast bowler Mills is available for the whole tournament as he is limited to playing T20 cricket because of back pain.England’s other players may not be available for the full competition because of international commitments, beginning when England host Ireland in one-day matches on May 5 and 7.The eight-team IPL format is similar to the proposed city-based Twenty20 tournament for English domestic cricket, which could be introduced in 2020. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

Spirited T&T lose third straight in Costa Rica defeat

first_imgSAN JOSE, Costa Rica, (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago turned in a gallant effort but it proved insufficient as they went down 2-1 to Costa Rica, to slump to a third straight defeat in the CONCACAF final round of World Cup qualifiers here Tuesday night.Playing at the Estadio Nacional, the visitors were in the game right to the end but the crucial equaliser never materialised, leaving them with their fifth defeat of the campaign overall and just about out of contention for a spot at the Russia showpiece next year.They were set back as early as the opening minute when Francisco Calvo scored but roared back when Kevin Molino struck in the 35th minute.However, Bryan Ruiz netted on the stroke of half-time to dash T&T’s hopes and the second half proved one of frustration.Head coach Dennis Lawrence said while he was disappointed not to get a positive result, he was pleased with the way T&T had pushed the Central American powerhouses.“Costa Rica has always been one of the CONCACAF giants. I think we all understand they are a very good team and they have players of a top level,” the former national defender said afterwards.“What I am most pleased about tonight is that we were able to come out tonight and match Costa Rica stride for stride. Unfortunately we did not get the result we wanted but I gave yeoman credit to my team for the effort that they put in.”The defeat left T&T bottom of the six-nation stands on just three points from a single win – against Panama in Port of Spain last March.They are only four points behind the Panamanians who currently occupy the last qualification spot but will need to quickly reverse results heading into the latter half of the competition.Despite the bleak outlook, Lawrence said T&T would continue to press for their dream of qualification.“We know points were important tonight. We are going to fight until the end, until it becomes mathematically impossible for us to qualify,” he stressed.Having lost five days earlier to the United States in Denver, T&T suffered an early blow just moments after the opening whistle when Calvo escaped his marker in the box to head past Jan Michael Williams, following a right-sided corner.Undaunted, T&T chased the equaliser with Joevin Jones coming close in the 28th minute with a fine free kick which forced an excellent save out of Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas and Hashim Arcia also testing the custodian minutes later.However, it was the enterprising Molino who brought the Trinidadians level when he slotted home from the top of the penalty area after being set up by Jones.The stalemate lasted all of nine minutes as Costa Rica were soon back in front through Ruiz. The Portugal-based forward collected a pass on the fringes of the 18-yard box, beat a defender and then curled a shot with the outside of his left foot past Williams.last_img read more

Female inter-county U-19 T20 bowls off today

first_imgDESPITE the unfavourable weather conditions, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) female inter-county Under-19 T20 tournament is set to commence today, with two matches at the Everest Cricket Club ground.According to information, the tournament concludes on Sunday, with two matches each day.In the opening round, Essequibo will take on Demerara at 09:00hrs, while Berbice play the President’s XI at 13:30hrs.On Saturday, the President’s XI will face Demerara at 09:00hrs, with Essequibo playing Berbice at 13:30hrs.On Sunday, the President’s XI will play Essequibo, while Demerara face off with Berbice at 13:30hrs.The tournament is the benchmark used to select the Guyana team for the upcoming regional tournament.last_img read more

Thompson wins London 100m in trainers

first_imgBy Mitch PhillipsLONDON,(Reuters)-Olympic champion Elaine Thompson showed that she remains the woman to beat over 100 metres in the world championships next month when she scorched to victory on the same London Olympic stadium track on Sunday despite running in trainers.The star-studded Diamond League meeting gave the cream of athletics a chance to test the facilities they will experience during the Aug. 4-13 world championships and organisers ensured there was a noisy finale when local hero Mo Farah closed out proceedings with an easy win over 3,000 metres.Jamaica’s Thompson produced a late surge to get past regular rival Dafne Schippers to triumph in 10.94 seconds, impressive into a headwind of 1.4 metres and even more so as she was running in cushioned trainers to prevent injury.“The spikes I have I’m not confident with and hurt my Achilles so I’m running in flats,” Thompson said of her unusual footwear choice.“They have spikes but they are very petite. They are built especially for me and made lighter.”The wall of noise that brought Farah home for double distance gold in the stadium four years ago was a little more muted on Sunday but the half-full arena was still happy enough to watch him dominate a 3,000m lacking any real African threat.Farah duly delivered with a 55-second last lap to come home in 7:35.15, fine-tuning his build-up for his farewell appearance next month.“There’s no place like home, I enjoy racing and not the other stuff,” said Farah, who was in the headlines again this week after leaked documents showed the IAAF had marked his biological passport as “likely doping” before further tests cleared him.“I’m only in control of my legs. Never will I fail a test,” he said.TOP FORMEvergreen Allyson Felix will also look forward to defending her 400m title and showed she is easing back into top form when she won on Sunday in 49.65 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year and in her first Diamond League race of the season.At the other end of his career, compatriot Fred Kerley picked a great stage for his first outing as a professional athlete. Although he was beaten by U.S. champion Ameer Webb over 200 metres he will take heart from the performance when he returns to race in the 400m at the worlds.Kerley, who has been blazing a record-breaking one-lap trail through his college career, clocked a personal best 20.24 behind Webb’s 20.13.Another nicely-timed world lead was delivered by injury-ravaged Nijel Amos, silver medallist on this track behind world-record breaking David Rudisha in the 2012 Olympics, as the Botswanan won a high-quality 800 in 1:43.18.Kendra Harrison set the current women’s 100m hurdles world record of 12.20 at this meeting last year – a minor consolation for missing out on the Olympics – and she made it 21 wins in a row since with an impressive time of 12.39 seconds.Just as happy with her second place in 12.48, her fastest for four years, was Australian 2012 Olympic champion Sally Pearson, who has overcome a series of injuries to get back into the mix just in time.As popular as Farah’s win was, the best home performance of the day came from Tom Bosworth, who claimed an unofficial world record of five minutes 31.08 seconds, taking six seconds off the 26-year-old previous best, for the extremely rarely contested one mile race walk.“I wanted to make today special because it’s the first race walk at a Diamond League,” he said.“In an event like mine, which isn’t seen on TV too much and is quite often misunderstood a lot, I think today was a great advert for race walking.”last_img read more

Aliann Pompey Invitational Meet here to stay

first_imgAFTER seeing the completion of another AP Invitational Meet, Aliann Pompey pronounced that the event is here to stay, and lauded those who would’ve contributed to its success.Pompey, the Commonwealth Games 400M gold and silver medallist, told Chronicle Sport on Saturday that this year’s meet held in her honour, in association with the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), was beyond successful.“I think it’s a successful meet in the sense that a good amount of athletes competed, meet records were broken, team Guyana did well… I think it was also successful in the sense of the amount of people that came out to watch the event; they were certainly entertained” Pompey said.This year’s AP Invitational featured St Kitts and Nevis’ world-rated sprinter Kim Collins, the 2003 World Champion in the 100m, who joined athletes from over 17 countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, the USA and Bahamas in the event.“The key thing is us being able to have the calibre of someone like Kim Collins here to compete, and we were able to do that with the additional support from sponsors and key partners” Pompey noted, while adding “I think as we’re able to grow, it will get bigger, and we have to offer incentives for those athletes to come here.”“Not that we don’t have what it takes to reach out to athletes, but we have to give them a reason to come here; we have to tell them financially it makes sense, we have to be able to tell them it’s well attended and we have to be able to sell out Guyanese hospitality” said the 39-year-old former National athlete.Pompey said that like everything in life, there’s always room for improvement. However, she “don’t really see anything glaring that would prevent us doing this in the future. I would like to commend the officials for the job that they’ve been doing.”last_img read more

Gabba curator Mitchell to pull up stumps after Ashes

first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) – Long-serving Gabba curator Kevin Mitchell, who has prepared pitches at the Australian cricket fortress for over 30 years, has said he will step down after the series-opening Ashes Test.The Brisbane venue has long been acclaimed for the quality of its pitches, which invariably offer pace and bounce for fast bowlers, turn for spinners and the possibility of big totals for batting sides.“I’d taken a step back from the physical side of work and engaged in more of a guidance role with the team to see out my contract while helping to recruit my successor,” Mitchell told Brisbane’s Courier Mail.“I want to thank the grounds team for their continual efforts to meet the high standards required and maintaining the culture of having great pride in producing quality playing surfaces.”Queensland sports minister Mick de Brenni paid tribute to Mitchell for laying the foundation for some of Australia’s most dominant performances.“Kevin truly is an icon, and to have kept producing an absolute world-class deck on a ground that’s used all year round has taken a particular talent. So, absolutely, very, very big shoes to fill,” he said.Mitchell learned under the wing of his father and former head groundsman Kevin Mitchell Sr, who tended the grounds from 1975 to 89 before being succeeded by his son.“The great West Indies side were out in those days with the four big quicks and Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and the like … and I just thought, ‘what a great place to work,’” Mitchell said in comments published by state broadcaster ABC.“The Gabba is a famous, iconic, historic stadium, and you feel that responsibility to create something that Queenslanders are proud of. You have to love the job — it’s a big part of your life.”Australia have not lost a Test at the Gabba since 1988, when they were beaten by West Indies, and only two of the last 13 matches have been draws.Australia play the Ashes series opener on November 23, four years after thrashing England at the same venue by 381 runs when left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson took nine wickets.England opening batsman Jonathan Trott’s struggles against the short ball at the Gabba saw him promptly exit the tour with a stress-related illness and Australia went on to whitewash England 5-0.last_img read more