Rockets and Pelicans to play in China
NEW YORK • The Houston Rockets, the former club of Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, will make their first visit to China in 12 years when they face the New Orleans Pelicans next October in two National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-season games.
The league announced on Tuesday that the 10th edition of NBA games in China would feature games in Shanghai (Oct 9) and Beijing (Oct 12).
Yao was playing for the Rockets when the team played in his home town of Shanghai in 2004 before a sell-out crowd.
Cycling union wants protection for riders
LONDON • The union that represents professional cycling teams has called on the sport's governing body and all race organisers to develop a clear strategy to protect competitors after the death of Antoine Demoitie, the Belgian rider who was struck by a motorbike during the Gent-Wevelgem classic.
Iwan Spekenbrink, the president of the AIGCP union, demanded "a clear approach in regard to the number of vehicles/motors in races, and finally the level of professionalism of everyone driving a vehicle/motor in races".
THE TIMES, LONDON
City's Demichelis charged for betting
LONDON • Manchester City's Argentinian defender Martin Demichelis has been charged with misconduct in relation to betting, the English Football Association said in a statement on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old is alleged to have committed 12 breaches of FA rules governing betting on football matches between Jan 22 and Jan 28 and has until April 5 to respond to the charge.
Organisers shelving Australian Masters
MELBOURNE • The Australian Masters will not be held this year, organisers IMG said, saying they were reassessing the event while revamping their golf business.
In a statement yesterday, IMG said the company is in the process of reimagining its Australian Masters event to ensure the delivery of a world-class experience and new plans for the event will be unveiled in the coming months.
Australian Peter Senior claimed the Australian Masters title at Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne last year.