Sports

Canada pay price for player's outburst

Britain booked a Davis Cup quarter-final clash against France in odd fashion yesterday morning (Singapore time), after the decisive final singles match ended when Canada's Denis Shapovalov hit the umpire with a ball.

The 17-year-old Israeli-born Canadian was defaulted after hitting a ball into the face of chair umpire Arnaud Gabas, handing Britain's Kyle Edmund a 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 triumph that gave Britain a 3-2 victory in the first-round tie at Ottawa.

Britain will meet France in the quarter-final from April 7-9 with the winners facing either Spain or Serbia in a September semi-final.

Gabas suffered bruising and swelling around his left eye and was taken to a nearby hospital.

"I would like to begin with apologising to that umpire, the referee and to all ITF officials. It was unacceptable behaviour from me," said Shapovalov, who took a ball from his pocket and hit it wildly to send it flying into Gabas' face. - AFP


Cook steps down as captain

Alastair Cook has stepped down as England Test captain, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced yesterday.

Cook was appointed skipper in August 2012 and was in charge for 59 Tests, leading England to Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015.

The 32-year-old is England's most-capped Test captain as well as their most prolific batsman, scoring 11,057 runs in 140 Tests.

Cook's last series as captain was the 4-0 defeat by India late last year and he said: "It's been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years.

"Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision, but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team.

"Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can." - PA SPORT