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F1 farewells abound as AD wraps up season
LONDON: Champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will be saying farewell under the Abu Dhabi floodlights this weekend — the Spaniard to Formula One and the Finn to Ferrari. With both titles won by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, each celebrating their fifth, the focus of the season-ending race has switched to those who are moving on - even if only around the paddock. Raikkonen’s speech is unlikely to be long or emotional,
 
 
McLaren reveal one-off livery for Alonso’s final race
McLaren already have one of the most eye-catching paint jobs on the grid - but this weekend in Abu Dhabi, Alonso’s car is getting an extra splash of colour. To celebrate the curtain coming down on the Spaniard’s 18-year F1 career the Woking-based team will run with a special one-off livery - something they haven’t done for more than 30 years. The design, which you can see above, takes its cues from Alonso’s iconic helmet design,
   
Change is scary, says Ricciardo ahead of Renault move
It’s the end of an era for Daniel Ricciardo this weekend. After 10 years with the Red Bull family, a tenure that has yielded seven Grand Prix victories and 29 podiums, the Abu Dhabi showdown marks his 100th and last-ever race for the senior Red Bull squad. The Honey Badger made the brave decision to join Renault next year, and he has given insight into just how ‘scary’ that impending move is. Ricciardo caused quite a stir during
 
 
Second edition of T10 League gets off to colourful start
Sharjah: The second edition of the T10 League got off to a flying start with a star-studded glittering ceremony at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. A colourful dance performance by 80 dance artistes and 100 members of the Dhoni Cricket Academy (DCA) accorded a warm welcome to 128 international cricketers split into the eight teams to mark the beginning of 12-day cricket extravaganza. The inauguration ceremony of the T10
   
Australia edge India in confidence-boosting Twenty20 win
Brisbane: Australia edged India by four runs for a nerve-wracking win in their opening Twenty20 Wednesday despite a gallant 76 from Shikhar Dhawan, giving them a huge confidence boost after a run of poor results. With a rain-marred match in Brisbane reduced to 17 overs, the visitors were set 174 to win under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system after the hosts made 158-4, Glenn Maxwell top-scoring with 46. India needed 13 off the
 
 
Scotland clinch Euro ’20 play-off spot
BELGRADE: A superb hat-trick by Scotland midfielder James Forrest earned them a 3-2 home win over Israel in the Nations League and promotion to the competition’s second tier on Tuesday. The result, which also sealed Scotland’s Euro 2020 playoff berth if they fail to qualify automatically, left them top of Group 1 in League C on nine points from four games, three ahead of Israel and six in front of Albania. Serbia also sealed
   
Costa back but Godin set to miss Barca clash
Madrid: Striker Diego Costa returned to training on Tuesday but defender Diego Godin will miss Atletico Madrid’s top-of-the-table clash with Barcelona this weekend. Former Chelsea forward Costa has been suffering from a foot injury which kept him out Spain’s recent fixtures against Croatia and Bosnia, but photos on the club’s website showed him training. Uruguayan Godin has a problem with his thigh and the 124-time capped
 
 
O’Neill steps down as Ireland manager after dismal run
Dublin: Martin O’Neill stepped down as Ireland manager on Wednesday after five years at the helm following a dismal run of results that resulted in relegation in the Nations League. The former Celtic and Leicester boss, who replaced Giovanni Trapattoni in November 2013, left his post by mutual consent, with assistant manager Roy Keane also parting company with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). O’Neill guided his team to
   
Guardiola warned by FA over referee comments
London: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was formally warned by the Football Association (FA) on Wednesday over comments he made about referee Anthony Taylor before the Manchester derby. Guardiola went against FA rules by discussing the suitability of the appointment of the official, who is from a Manchester suburb, for the clash. Although Guardiola backed Taylor and dismissed accusations of potential bias, managers are
 
 
Mbappe injury overshadows France win over Uruguay; Brazil beat Cameroon
Paris: A shoulder injury to Kylian Mbappe overshadowed France’s 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay at the Stade de France on Tuesday as Didier Deschamps’ world champions ended the year on a high note. Mbappe had to be replaced in the first half after a nasty fall, continuing a miserable night for his Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel after the German had already seen Neymar hobble off injured early in Brazil’s friendly with
   
New Zealand coach Stead expects tougher contest in second Test
Dubai: Two days after one of the most sensational wins in Test cricket, New Zealand are preparing in Dubai for the second Test against Pakistan with coach Gary Stead expecting an even tougher contest. New Zealand pulled off an extraordinary four-run win in Abu Dhabi on Monday as they defended a modest target of 176. Debutant left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel took 5-59 as Pakistan’s last seven wickets fell for just 41 runs. It was the
 
 
Townsend rings in changes for Argentina clash
London: Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has made eight changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s final autumn Test against Argentina, experimenting with Finn Russell and Adam Hastings as dual playmakers. Racing 92’s star number 10 Russell will shift to inside centre to allow his former Glasgow team-mate Hastings to start at fly-half. A new front row of Allan Dell, Fraser Brown and Simon Berghan start, while lock Grant
   
Loew clings to Germany job despite disastrous year
Gelsenkirchen: Even with his reputation battered by the worst year in German football history and a disastrous World Cup exit, Joachim Loew remains optimistic about Germany’s future in 2019. A 2-2 draw with the Netherlands on Monday, when both Dutch goals came in the final six minutes, plus Thursday’s 3-0 win over Russia do not paper over the cracks of a horrendous year for Loew. The final moments summed up Germany’s year as
 
 
Green lifts Raptors to NBA win, Blazers take West lead
Washington: Danny Green sank a jump shot with half a second remaining Tuesday to lift the Toronto Raptors over the Orlando Magic 93-91 and into the Eastern Conference lead. Winning the dramatic Florida matchup improved the Raptors to 14-4 overall, a league-best 7-2 on the road and one game ahead of Milwaukee atop the East. Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 18 points while Pascal Siakam added 15, Spain’s Serge Ibaka added 14 and
   
Pacquiao, Roach at loggerheads over reunion
Los Angeles: Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said on Tuesday he hopes to be reunited with long-time trainer Freddie Roach for his January bout against Adrien Broner but admitted he had not spoken to the veteran cornerman about renewing their partnership. Pacquiao ended a 16-year association with Roach ahead of his victory over Lucas Matthyse in Kuala Lumpur in July, breaking up one of boxing’s most famous double-acts.
 
 
Anderson happy to be out of second Test
Colombo: England have left record-breaking fast bowler James Anderson out of the final Test against Sri Lanka starting Friday to give match practice to fellow paceman Stuart Broad. “Yes I’m not playing this game, Broady’s going,” Anderson said Wednesday, expressing frustration over a tour in which he has taken just one wicket in two Tests where spinners have dominated. Anderson, who has taken more Test wickets than any other
   
Noah gears up for Davis Cup final
PARIS: Laid-back in everyday life, Yannick Noah is meticulous when it comes to being a tennis coach. So over the last 10 days, the France captain has been paying close attention to anything that could derail his team’s chances of winning an 11th Davis Cup title against Croatia this weekend. “The most important thing was to spend as much time as possible together thinking about this final,” said Noah, who summoned his players for
 
 
Oz pair embrace favourites tag at WC
Melbourne: Australian pair Mark Leishman and Cameron Smith are embracing the favourites tag at this week’s golf World Cup, insisting they are laid-back enough to deal with the pressure. The 59th staging of the tournament at the Metropolitan Golf Club marks its third-consecutive playing in Melbourne’s famous sandbelt region, where bunkers can be cut right on the edge of a green. Starting Thursday, 28 teams will vie for
   
Bangladesh, Windies re-engage with plenty to prove
Dhaka: A determined West Indies are set to take on gritty Bangladesh in their Test series opener on Thursday. Both the teams have been going through a bad patch in the recent times and have a lot to prove. While the West Indies were, for the most part, outplayed by India in the two-match series in October, Bangladesh nearly became the side Zimbabwe beat for their first overseas Test series victory in 17 years. In fact, the
 
 
British sprinter Levine gets 4-year ban for doping
London: British sprinter Nigel Levine has been suspended from all sport for four years after testing positive for banned drug clenbuterol, UK Anti-Doping announced on Tuesday. Levine failed a drugs test on November 24 last year and it emerged in February that he had been provisionally suspended. Announcing the four-year ban on Tuesday, UKAD said the 29-year-old’s ban will be backdated to Dec.13, 2017 and run until Dec.12, 2021.
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