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SportsDay Live, Wednesday January 23

Date

SportsDay Live, Wednesday January 23Real time updates from the sporting world as news breaks, plus views, polls, competitions, analysis and much more.

BRADFORD are one win away from football's ultimate fairytale after getting past Aston Villa to book a trip to Wembley.

BRADFORD are one win away from football's ultimate fairytale after getting past Aston Villa to book a trip to Wembley. Read full report here Photo: AFP

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And that's it from us today as our attention is turning to Hobart where Australia are batting first against Sri Lanka in the final ODI of the series.

And if it's tennis you want to follow, the Australian Open blog is the place to be.

And for the musical fans, the winner of the worst sports video was the LA Rams with Ram It

Racing. And in Chris Roots' tip of the day, the second at Kembla Grange (the Dapto Leagues Clubs 3yo C&G Maiden), Photon Willie finishes ... first! Roots gets the chocolates with a $4.60 shot. Great result!

DOMINIC BOSSI: Football. A-League champions Brisbane Roar have released Nick Fitzgerald who will be playing for the Central Coast Mariners six months earlier than expected.

Fitzgerald, 20, was due to join the Mariners at the end of the A-League season but will instead join the club immediately.

The Roar have reportedly gained the services of Young Socceroo Steven Lustica.

Lustica is set to be snapped up on loan from Croatian giants Hajduk Split and may make his Roar debut as early as Saturday night against the Glory in Perth.

Motor sport. Casey Stoner's V8s update ... looks like he's going to do it though, eh ...

JESSE HOGAN: Cricket. This just in, Australia captain Michael Clarke is out of today's one-day international against Sri Lanka. George Bailey will be the captain and Clarke's place in the team is expected to be taken by Glenn Maxwell.

Motor sport. Reports of a V8 Supercars move have been denied by two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner - for now.

‘‘Don’t believe everything you read,’’ Stoner tweeted. ‘‘Haven’t decided what I’m doing yet, of corse (sic) V8 Supercars is on the cards. Will let you know when I do!’’

The poll. It's a lot closer than we thought in the poll (although the sample size is pitifully small). If you've just logged in there is some debate about two music videos we have posted today. One at 12.49 and one at 11.58. Give them a listen and decide what's worse ... this is a choice and there is no such thing as a right answer ... but if you pick Let's Go Buffaloes you go it wrong!

Poll: What is worse? You decide ...

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Let's Go Buffalo

33%

Ram It

67%

Total votes: 24.

Would you like to vote?

You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

RUPERT GUINNESS: Wine of the day. Thirsty work this cycling, which made me think of my wine of the day.

Not till stories are filed will I sample, but today's tip is the Shaw and Smith Shiraz from the Adelaide Hills where Tuesday's first stage passed.

What makes this Shiraz different is that it's not too big or marmaladey ... That's largely to to Adelaide Hills being a cooler area - compared to others Luke Barossa or Clare Valley.

Anyway, in stage 2 with 35km to go, the breakaway of four riders is still away with about 1min 20s lead.

Racing. Victoria’s racing watchdog has called on the state government to ask police to set up a racing corruption squad as part of the biggest proposed overhaul to racing integrity in years.

Football. Brace yourself, Kiwis ... All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen has retired from international football. Nelsen called national coach Ricki Herbert today, advising of his decision after having already agreed his first coaching job, with Major League Soccer club Toronto FC, which is set to begin on February 1.

The 35-year-old will play his last game for QPR at home to Manchester City on January 29, Toronto said.

On this day in 1967 ... ‘‘The Pocket Hercules’’, Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu was born in Bulgaria. A gold medallist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, 1992 Barcelona Games and again at Atlanta in 1996, he competed at the Sydney 2000 Games but missed out on the medals. He was elected to the International Weightlifting Hall of Fame in 2004.

Tennis. Victoria Azarenka will play meet the winner of the remaining quarter-final between Americans Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens.

CHRIS ROOTS: Tip of the day. Down in beautiful Wollongong for the Kembla Grange meeting. It is overcast and the runners are in the mounting yard for the first.

I’m looking for something to give me some lunch money and I’ll be waiting until the second and sticking with Sydney’s leading trainer, Chris Waller.

Photon Willie looked something special when it trialled but is still a maiden after four runs. Today could be his day.

Race 2 No.6 Photon Willie

Football. This is interesting, given the exchange of views regarding pyrotechnics at football grounds following flares being let off at a Western Sydney Wanderers home game. Seems the Germans are taking a hard line on it too ...

Cricket. Don't forget it's a truncated blog today, with James Polson bringing you all the action from the one-day international between Australia and Sri Lanka in Hobart from 2pm.

RUPERT GUINNESS: Cycling. Just drove over Corkscrew climb on stage 2 of the Tour Down Under ... Definitely a leg- and lung-buster for the pro peloton this early in the season. Good crowds building with plenty riding up. Meanwhile, further back, a four-rider breakaway group has a 1min 58sec lead with 58km of 116.5km done.

Tennis. Victoria Azarenka wins in straight sets, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1  at the Australian Open.

 

The poll. If you've just logged in there is some debate, even angst, about two music videos we have posted today. One at 12.49 and one at 11.58. Give them a listen and decide what's worse ... this is a choice and there is no such thing as a right answer ... but if you pick Let's Go Buffaloes you go it wrong!

Poll: What is worse? You decide ...

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Let's Go Buffalo

33%

Ram It

67%

Total votes: 24.

Would you like to vote?

You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Tennis. So is this the worst serve in history ...

Worst serve in tennis history? (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Is this the worst serve in tennis history?

China's Li Na delivered a nightmare serve during her quarter-final match against Agnieszka Radwanska but it didn't throw her off her game.

PT0M53S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2d66g 620 349

SportsDay Live's faceless operative Ears McEvoy haas taken issue with the Buffalo song below.

McEvoy writes: ''As a long-suffering Bills fan, the Buffalo song is appropriate for a team that hasn't made the play-offs for the past 13 seasons (longest streak by current teams). But the worst ever? Back in your box Jazzhat Lutton.

''You can't go past this gem from the Los Angeles Rams – Ram It. It features some of the worst rapping (only John Barnes in New Order's World In Motion comes close) and even badder hairdos than a Saturday night out at Brisbane Rowers nightclub in the mid 80s. 'You can ram it all day, And ram it all night'.''

On this day in 1954 ... Test leg spinner and controversial former chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns was born in Brisbane. The Queensland tweaker was a surprise selection for the 1989 Ashes tour and the veteran made some useful contributions in the 4-0 series win.

His stint as a selector in the late 1990s and early 2000s was marked by plenty of on-field success but also controvery following the abrupt end to the end of the careers of long-serving players such as Ian Healy, Mark Waugh and in the one-day arena, Steve Waugh.

RUPERT GUINNESS: Cycling. Update on reactions to Lance Armstrong confession and impact in the sport for the future ... Unfortunately, when we asked Australian 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans for a reaction after his confession to dopibg in last week’s interview with Oprah, he declined to comment. Evans (BMC) is not at the Tour Down Under, but back in Europe training.
His racing calendar will kick off at theTour of Oman in mid-February.

Tennis. No.1 women’s seed Victoria Azarenka is one set up against Svetlana Kuznetsova, winning 7-5. It is 1-1 in the second set.

Basketball. The Celtics and Cavaliers are locked in a ding-dong battle in Cleveland. It's 58-58 with Kyrie Irving already racking up 25 points for the home side.

Orlando and the Pistons are also tied, at 52-52, at Detroit, while the Bucks hold a 24-17 lead over Philly late in the first quarter in Milwaukee.

The late game should be a beauty between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at the Staples Centre.

Football. Bradford City goalkeeper Matt Duke ... ‘‘This is dreamland. Hopefully we will have a great following at Wembley and do the club proud. I am not convinced it will ever sink in. You dream of this as a kid, playing at Wembley, and like I say, I just want to do the club proud.’’

Cricket. Former Black Caps captain Ross Taylor begins his return to international cricket early next month after being named in a New Zealand XI squad to play two warm-up Twenty20 matches against England. Andrew Ellis will captain the 14-strong squad in matches on February 4 and 6 at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? And the winner, who was first to correctly answer Mark Viduka, was King Santos (pretty sure it's not a real name). We'll be in contact with his majesty to send him the prize.

From the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons's Desk, today's prize is ... The Big Book of Sports Insults - 1001 Quips & Quotes.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Greg Ritchie in action during the 1985 Ashes tour of England.

Greg Ritchie in action during the 1985 Ashes tour of England. Photo: Bob Thomas

On this day in 1960 ... cricketer Greg Ritchie was born in Stanthorpe, Queensland. The middle-order batsman never reached the lofty expectations placed upon him early in his career, scoring 1690 runs at 35.2 in 30 Tests. "Fat Cat" attracted plenty of criticism after his playing days were over for his controversial Mahatma Cote "comedy" routine and was recently in hot water for using a racially offensive word at a speaking engagement during the South African team’s tour of Australia.

Tennis. Victoria Azarenka has broken back and it's now 4-4 in the first set of her quarter-final versus Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Australian Open.

Let's goooo Buffaloooo ... Is that the worst sports song ever? Let us know if you can think of a worse one via the comments section on the blog or via @smhsport on Twitter

PHIL LUTTON: American football. This just in from our BrisbaneTimes correspondent Phil Lutton with his nomination for the worst sports song ever, this "tribute" to the Buffalo Bill, which we are confident won't make Ears McEvoy's weekly "What you should be listening to" in Saturday's Pass the Sugar column.

League. Media personality and rugby league fan, Charlotte Dawson, will join interim NRL chief executive, Shane Mattiske, and NRL general manager of community, culture and diversity, Trish Crews, at League Central tomorrow to officially launch the game’s 2013 Community Carnival and the NRL’s ‘Tackle Bullying’ campaign.

Cricket. NSW officials are confident wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will be fit to face bottom-placed Western Australia in their Sheffield Shield clash at Blacktown starting tomorrow. Haddin injured his hamstring while playing for Australia a fortnight ago.The Blues are hoping to continue their strong Shield form before the Big Bash break and launch themselves into a position to make the final, ending a tumultuous two-month period which led to their coach being sacked and chief executive resigning.

RUPERT GUINNESS: Cycling. Extra buzz in the Tour Down Under entourage this morning with stage two, having started at 11am (Adelaide time), expected to show who are the main contenders. Why? The 116.5km stage from Mount Barker to Rostrevor is tough, especially with the Corkscrew climb very close to the finish. Crucial will be positioning near the front of peloton on narrow approach to the 2.5 climb that has an average gradient of 15 per cent but pitches of 18 per cent on its four switchbacks. Looking forward to the fireworks !

On this day in 1984 ... Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben was born in the Netherlands. After starting out with Dutch club Groningen, he came to worldwide prominence via stints with PSV, Chelsea and Real Madrid before switching to Munich in 2009. A stalwart for the Dutch national team, he has scored 17 goals in 63 appearances in the fluoro orange since making his debut in 2003.

Cricket. Blues seamer Trent Copeland says the NSW team will put the off-field issues aside when they take on WA at Blacktown, starting tomorrow. Cricket NSW chief executive Dave Gilbert resigned and coach Anthony Stuart has been sacked during the Christmas break.

‘‘Stuff off the field and the perception of the place around here doesn’t change the actual reality - the fact that everything is fine here and the players are doing their bit and hopefully working towards winning some competition."

Cricket. Strike bowler Gary Putland has ruled himself out of South Australia’s Sheffield Shield match against Victoria starting tomorrow in Adelaide. Putland has a thigh strain and will be sidelined as SA, on 12 points, seek to make ground on the Bushrangers, on 20 points, on a cluttered Shield ladder.

Football. Gary Hooper didn’t let the speculation surrounding his future at Celtic impact his performance on Tuesday, scoring twice as the Scottish Premier League leaders won 4-0 over Dundee United. The news that Norwich City had an improved offer for the striker turned down didn’t seem to play on his mind as he handed Celtic a 19th minute lead when he finished a well-worked move he had started in his own half.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the well-known sporting figure in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons's Desk to dig out a sweet, sweeet prize. Today's prize is ... The Big Book of Sports Insults - 1001 Quips & Quotes.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport or via the comments section on the blog.

Someone has guessed the right answer & the natives are getting restless so we promise this is the last clue we show before revealing the answer and the winner.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

The iceman goeth ... Swedish superstar Bjorn Borg shocked the world when he retired at the peak of his powers.

The iceman goeth ... Swedish superstar Bjorn Borg shocked the world when he retired at the peak of his powers.

On this day in 1983 ... The tennis world was stunned when Swedish superstar Bjorn Borg announced his retirement at the age of 26. He attempted a comeback several years later still using a wooden racquet but was a shadow of his former dominant self. He didn’t win a single set against his younger opponents with their graphite blades in the nine matches he played in 1991 and 92 before retiring from the main tour again once and for all, settling into the more comfortable surrounds of the Champions Tour.

Tennis. We cater for all sports on the SportsDay Live blog but if your focus today is tennis, tennis and more tennis, the Australian Open blog is up and running with Will Brodie at the helm.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the well-known sporting figure in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out a sweet, sweeet prize. Today’s prize is ... The Big Book of Sports Insults - 1001 Quips & Quotes.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport or via the comments section on the blog.

Someone has guessed the right answer but for those playing along at home, we won't reveal the name as yet.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

On this day in 1988 ... Steffi Graf begins her unprecedented year of a grand slam plus Olympic gold by beating veteran American Chris Evert 6-1, 7-6 in the final of the Australian Open at the new Flinders Park arena.

SEBASTIAN HASSETT: Football. Australia's Beach Socceroos have begun their campaign to qualify for the World Cup in style, defeating Oman 6-4 in their opening match at the qualification tournament in Qatar.

Remarkably, due to a lack of opposition, it was the team's first proper competitive match in this qualification process. They're now sit second in the group after Afghanistan defeated host Qatar 7-3, who Australia face tonight, in the other group match. Interestingly, the team features no less than six ex-NSL or A-League players, including ex-Socceroo David Zdrilic.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the well-known sporting figure in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out a sweet, sweeet prize. Today’s prize is ... The Big Book of Sports Insults - 1001 Quips & Quotes.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport or via the comments section on the blog.

Nobody has guessed the right answer as yet.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Don Bradman still at the top of his game in 1948.

Don Bradman still at the top of his game in 1948.

On this day in 1948 ... Donald Bradman, aged 39, thumps India for 201 runs in 272 minutes, including 21 fours and a rare six. The Don didn't like to try to clear the boundary for the simple reason that it gave the opposition more of a chance of getting him out.

AFL. Swans star Ted Richards is a charitable lad ...

SEBASTIAN HASSETT: Football. Skilful central midfielder Zenon Caravella has signed up with the Newcastle Jets until the end of next season. Despite being Adelaide's player of the season last year, the 29-year old found it hard to win game time under John Kosmina and was granted a release earlier this week.

“We are excited to sign Zenon and believe he will be a great addition to the squad,” said Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby“It is fantastic to have someone of his experience, reputation and versatility join the Jets.”

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the well-known sporting figure in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out a sweet, sweeet prize. Today’s prize is ... The Big Book of Sports Insults - 1001 Quips & Quotes.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport or via the comments section on the blog.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Baseball. Let's go out to the ball game tomorrow ... The Sydney Blue Sox take on the Brisbane Bandits from the 24-27th of January at Blacktown International Sportspark. The Sox are tied for first place, and with two wins in four games this weekend, will host a home playoff series. If Sydney wins at least two games this weekend, and the Canberra Cavalry win one or less, Sydney will host the Grand Final in two weeks’ time.

American football. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has been reinstated to the NFL by commissioner Roger Goodell after missing the entire 2012 season for his role in a bounty scheme. The move came a day after Goodell met Payton in New York and more than three weeks after the Saints completed a mediocre 7-9 season under interim coaches Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer.
"It is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels."

League. Billy Slater will continue on a modified program with the goal of being fit for the club’s World Club Challenge match on February 22 against Leeds Rhinos.

BRAD WALTER: League. It's not Billy Slater's back that's giving him bother, it turns out it's his ankle and shoulder. Poor old Billy's falling apart.

Slater’s pre-season training has been hampered since aggravating an ankle injury and due to the removal of a plate in his shoulder from an injury suffered in the 2011 Four Nations Tour.

Motor sport. Former world champion Lewis Hamilton has insisted Mercedes could yet challenge the sport’s leading teams when the new Formula One season gets under way.
‘‘I think this year is going to be an interesting year, an interesting journey, but I think it’s going to be a journey we enjoy. I live to win. That’s what I work towards every year, so that’s what we’re going to work towards this year. Of course it’s going to be tough to compete with the guys who are already at the front - the Red Bulls, the McLarens, the Ferraris - but I don’t think it’s impossible."

Tennis. Can anyone stop Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open? Let us know what you think with today's SportsDay Live poll ...

Poll: Will Novak Djokovic win the Australian Open for a third straight year?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Yes

55%

No

45%

Total votes: 948.

Would you like to vote?

You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.

Poll closed 27 Jan, 2013

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Rugby. Uncapped winger Adrien Plante has been called up as a replacement for the injured Gael Fickou for France’s Six Nations squad.
Plante, 27 and who was recognised at international level at youth level, has scored two tries in 13 Top 14 appearances for Perpignan this season and was summoned after Fickou failed to recover from a twisted ankle he suffered during Toulouse’s European Cup match with Italian side Treviso on January 14.
France's opening game is against Italy in Rome on February 3.

League. Billy Slater apparently has a back injury and is also in some doubt for the World Club Challenge next month.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the well-known sporting figure in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out a sweet, sweeet prize. Today’s prize is ... The Big Book of Sports Insults - 1001 Quips & Quotes.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport or via the comments section on the blog.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Tennis. John Isner and Sam Querrey will join doubles stars Mike and Bob Bryan in the United States squad that will play Brazil next week in a first-round Davis Cup tie, the US Tennis Association says. US officials revealed the line-up for the February 1-3 tie in a Twitter posting. The best-of-five matchup will be played in Jacksonville, Florida, on an indoor hardcourt.

Wrestling. Michael McComish on his Twitter account ...

"Just letting everyone know I'm fine! Stitches in my head. Gash on forehead and back of me head and little cuts from the glass nothin serious. nothing anybody could've done about it and I'm perfectly fine right now!"

Wrestling. This has got to hurt ... but we can reveal the wrestler has survived this freak incident.

Michael McComish, a high school wrestler in rural South Dakota, has found himself in the spotlight on internet videos since a spotlight literally fell on him during a match.

Tennis. Milos Raonic will lead Canada against Spain in Davis Cup play in Vancouver next month. The 15th-ranked Raonic is coming off a fourth-round loss to Roger Federer at the Australian Open. He, Frank Dancevic, Vasek Pospisil and veteran Daniel Nestor have been the core of the team since 2011.
The World Group first-round tie is scheduled for February 1-3 on an indoor hard-court at Thunderbird Sports Centre.
AP apm 23-01-13 0500

League. Billy Slater has withdrawn from the NRL All Stars game, replaced by Justin O'Neill.

Tennis. Spain will open the Davis Cup against Canada without injured star Rafael Nadal or regular member David Ferrer.
Nicolas Almagro will lead Spain in the first-round tie in Vancouver from February 1-3.
Spain captain Alex Corretja has also called on doubles pair Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, while 51st-ranked Albert Ramos will make his debut for the national team. Nadal hasn’t played since last June because of tendinitis in his left knee. With Nadal out, Ferrer guided the five-time champions to last year’s final, where they lost to Czech Republic.

Cycling. Another one bites the dust ... French rider Steve Houanard has been suspended for two years for doping with EPO, and a disciplinary case has been opened against former Lance Armstrong teammate Leif Hoste of Belgium, the International Cycling Union says.
The UCI said Houanard accepted his sanction. The 26-year-old rider was provisionally suspended by the governing body last October pending a disciplinary case by the French cycling federation.

Tennis. Defending women’s champion Victoria Azarenka is first up on Rod Laver Arena today in an intriguing line-up of Australian Open quarter-final matches. Azarenka takes on resurgent Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova, while women’s favourite Serena Williams plays American teenager Sloane Stephens.
In the men’s draw, third seed Andy Murray takes on in-form Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. And in tonight’s match, Roger Federer will play in his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final when he takes on France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Football. England left-back Ashley Cole has ended speculation about his immediate future by signing a one-year contract extension with Chelsea, the Premier League club has announced. His previous deal was due to expire at the end of the season and the 32-year-old had been linked with moves to either Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks.
‘‘I am pleased I will be starting my eighth season at Chelsea. I wanted to stay at Chelsea because we are always fighting and challenging for trophies. That desire and the will to want to win things have not gone.’’

Rugby. Canada and the US will join an expanded Pacific Nations Cup rugby tournament this year, while champions Samoa move up into a bigger league. The IRB said Canada and the US will join Japan, Fiji and Tonga in the Pacific tournament in late May and June.
Samoa, currently the highest-ranked Pacific nation at No.7, will play instead in a quadrangular tournament featuring South Africa, Scotland and Italy. Japan will host the Pacific Nations Cup final as it continues to prepare for the 2019 World Cup.

Tennis. Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter says he and Bernard Tomic have buried the hatchet and is hopeful of having the resurgent youngster back for Australia’s second-round qualifying tie in April - if his weakened line-up makes it through. Tomic remains suspended from Australia’s qualifying tie in Taiwan from February 1-3 after Rafter disciplined the 20-year-old last month for his poor attitude and dreadful end to 2012.

Bradford City's Northern Irish defender Rory McArdle celebrates celebrates with  Australian defender Curtis Good at the final whistle during the English League Cup second leg semi-final against Aston Villa.

Bradford City's Northern Irish defender Rory McArdle celebrates celebrates with Australian defender Curtis Good at the final whistle during the English League Cup second leg semi-final against Aston Villa. Photo: AFP

Cricket. Victoria have named fit-again Test quick James Pattinson in a 12-man squad for tomorrow’s Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia in Adelaide. Leg-spinners Fawad Ahmed and James Muirhead are also in the squad, while David Hussey will travel from Hobart to Adelaide following tonight’s fifth one-day international against Sri Lanka.

Football. Bradford City's fairytale trip to Wembley was good news and bad for Australian football. Little-known Bantams defender Curtis Good is celebrating but Socceroos striker Brett Holman is down in the dumps after Aston Villa missed out on the League Cup final.

Cricket. Australia have recovered from a loss in game one of their three-match Twenty20 women’s cricket series against New Zealand by claiming victory with one ball to spare in game two. Game three is due to be played at Melbourne’s Junction Oval tomorrow.

Cycling. The brutal Corkscrew Road climb is expected to cause massive changes to the overall standings at the Tour Down Under. The short but steep hill comes near the end of the second stage today from Mt Barker to suburban Rostrevor. German sprint ace Andre Greipel won the opening stage, but he’ll lose the overall lead today as riders such as defending champion Simon Gerrans try to stake their claims on Corkscrew.

Motor sport. Victoria pays more than 30 million dollars a year for the right to host the Formula One Grand Prix. News Ltd reports it’s seen the details of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone's licence fee, which have been kept secret by four successive state governments for almost two decades.

Shooting. Russell and Lauryn Mark have put the rooming controversy of the London Olympics behind them by uniquely winning the national title in their respective events at the Australian shooting championships in Brisbane. Russell won the double trap for the 13th time whilst Lauryn won the Australian ladies skeet title for the ninth time.

Cricket. Cricket’s world players union has warned its members to avoid the new Twenty20 Super League in Pakistan, due to start in March, on security grounds. Tim May, who heads the international union, has told the BBC that security consultants say the risk of touring Pakistan is unmanageable. No major international cricket has been played in Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus by armed militants in Lahore in March 2009 left eight people dead and seven visiting players wounded.

Football. Vuvuzelas are back ... remember them?

The Confederation of African Football has fined Ethiopia’s football federation $US10,000 after the team’s fans hurled vuvuzelas and other missiles onto the pitch during Monday’s match at the African Cup of Nations. Ethiopia had plenty of supporters for its first African Cup match in 31 years, a 1-1 draw with defending champions Zambia. But the Group C game at Mbombela turned ugly when Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane dismissed Ethiopia goalkeeper Jemal Tassew shortly after the half-hour mark. Vuvuzelas and water bottles rained down from the stands, with coaches and substitutes forced to take shelter in their dugouts while a stadium announcer gradually restored calm.

 

 

American football. He is the gentle giant set to secure a multimillion-dollar pay deal in one of the most lucrative professional sporting leagues in the world.
Yet, Jesse Williams, the 22-year-old they call ''Tha Monstar'' for his imposing 193-centimetre, 145-kilogram frame, is propelled by his burning desire to provide for his family and, in particular, set up his parents for retirement.

Tennis. Can anyone stop Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open? Let us know what you think with today's SportsDay Live poll ...

Poll: Will Novak Djokovic win the Australian Open for a third straight year?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Yes

55%

No

45%

Total votes: 948.

Would you like to vote?

You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.

Poll closed 27 Jan, 2013

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Football. You know a World Cup is not that far away when these stories start appearing ... The Brazilian government has ruled out risks of power shortages during the 2014 World Cup despite delays in power generation projects in 10 host cities. ‘‘The delays in the (power) generation projects do not pose any risk of energy shortages during the Cup,’’ said a statement from the national electrical energy regulator Aneel. Newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said that only the northeastern cities of Fortaleza and Recife could currently guarantee adequate energy supply.

Best loss ever ... Bradford City's English forward James Hanson is swamped after scoring during the second leg semi-final clash with Aston Villa at Villa Park, Birmingham.

Best loss ever ... Bradford City's English forward James Hanson is swamped after scoring during the second leg semi-final clash with Aston Villa at Villa Park, Birmingham. Photo: AFP

Football. It's a fantastic effort by Bradford ... they have become the first fourth-tier club to reach an English football final in more than 50 years. Not since Rochdale in 1962 has a fourth-division side reached the final. Bradford, whose squad was assembled for barely $A11,400, will play Chelsea or Swansea in the Wembley Stadium final.

Cricket. Rejoice Kiwi cricket fans (while you can). The Black Caps beat the Proteas in Kimberley by 27 runs to lead their ODI series 2-0. Kane Williamson blasted 145 not out in the total of 8-279 and South Africa were all out for 252.

SMH

SMH

Here's the back page for Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald sports section. Novak Djokovic wasn't perfect against Tomas Berdych, he did drop the second set, but he closed out the match in style. Not a bad effort considering two days earlier he played that epic five-hour five-set marathon into the wee small hours of the morning against Stanislas Wawrinka.

And big news from the rugby league world from Brad Walter with a consortium keen to take ownership of the Melbourne Storm but only on the condition that coach Craig Bellamy stays at the helm.

Welcome to another day on the SportsDay Live blog. There's plenty happening today with day 11 of the Australian Open featuring the remaining two women's quarter-finals plus the other couple of men's quarters. World No.1 Novak Djokovic was impressive last night when he backed up from his five-hour fourth-round marathon to vanquish Tomas Berdych in four sets to move into the semis. The Australian Open blog will be up and running later this morning.

There's also the final match of the ODI series against Sri Lanka kicking off this afternoon, we'll have a live blog following all the action from that game too.

Plus we'll have a Whoareya? competition with another prize we've found on Peter FitzSimons's desk and all the sports news from around the globe as it happens.

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  • No offence to Chris Roots, but does he tip any horses that aren't favourites? Last tip I saw he was lauded by the SportsDay columnist for tipping a 1.70/1.00 dead set favourite! Give us the money horses Chris! I'll be watching closely, but his tip has already come in from 4.90 to 3.10! His influence is wide reaching clearly.

    Commenter
    Phil
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 1:40PM
  • The tribute song to the Buffalo Bills made my ears bleed....

    Commenter
    Austrocks
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 12:34PM
  • Whoareya - one from left field - Eli Babalj?

    Commenter
    Dom
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 12:24PM
  • Who are ya. It's Mark Viduka

    Commenter
    Rob
    Location
    North Sydney
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 12:04PM
  • its eileen charlsworth

    Commenter
    biff
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 12:00PM
  • Who ya think? - Paul Okon

    Commenter
    hutch
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:46AM
  • Bloody Mark Viduka!

    Commenter
    Happy the Sweet
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:25AM
  • WhoAreYa? Lucas Neill

    Commenter
    GeePower
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:22AM
  • Mark Viduka is who you are

    Commenter
    alfresco
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:19AM
  • Lucas Neill

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:17AM
  • who are ya - mark viduka

    Commenter
    miksta
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:16AM
  • Lucas Neill- who are ya

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:15AM
  • Who are ya - Jason Culina

    Commenter
    miksta
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:14AM
  • Is that Craig Moore during the Croatia game??

    Commenter
    surjulz
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:11AM
  • Whoareya is Harry Kewell

    Commenter
    Sydneyrob
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:10AM
  • WhoAreYa? Mark Viduka. Kewell hasn't had that much arm hair since he discovered Veet for men.

    Commenter
    Robbie
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:10AM
  • Whoareya - Mark Viduka

    Commenter
    Swifty
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:09AM
  • WhoAreYa? - Lucas Neill

    Commenter
    Youarentmatt
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:09AM
  • WhoAreYa or Emerton.

    Commenter
    Alex
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:07AM
  • WhoAreYa? Mark Viduka

    Commenter
    Nova
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:07AM
  • Whoareya - Lucas Neill?

    Commenter
    Happy the Sweet
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:05AM
  • Who the F%$# are ya

    Lionel Messi

    Commenter
    Jill
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:05AM
  • WhoAreYa - Viduka

    Commenter
    Alex
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 11:05AM
  • Who are ya- Pim Verbeek

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 10:57AM
  • Is the WhoAreYa Harry Kewell?

    David from Kensington

    Commenter
    Ecky
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 10:57AM
  • Who are ya- Alessandro Del Piero

    Commenter
    SPH#07
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 10:56AM
  • Who are ya- Guus Hiddink

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 10:41AM
  • Harry Kewell is WhoAreYa - I think.

    Commenter
    ALFRESCO
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 10:39AM
  • Who are ya- Guus Hiddink

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 10:38AM
  • WhoAreYa? Tim Cahill.

    Commenter
    ALFRESCO
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2013, 10:36AM

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