ICC Cricket World Cup moments: Australia stun South Africa and Mike Gatting’s bizarre dismissal

With just 100 days until the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, we pick 10 memorable moments from the tournament’s history…

GATTING’S MOMENT OF MADNESS

(Australia vs England, 1987 final, Eden Gardens, Calcutta)

England had looked to be cruising to 1987 World Cup glory in Calcutta – until captain Mike Gatting handed the initiative back to Australia in bizarre fashion. Chasing 254, England seemed well placed at 135-2, with Gatting and Bill Athey at the crease. Australia skipper Allan Border brought himself on to test the England pair with his left-armers. Inexplicably, Gatting – not known as a risk-taker – attempted to reverse-sweep the first delivery he faced from his opposite number, which pitched around off stump. The ball hit the shoulder of his bat and flew behind to wicketkeeper Greg Dyer. Gatting’s exit slowed the pursuit and resulted in a rise in the required run-rate which left England needing 17 from the final over. They fell short and Australia won by seven runs.

‘SUPERMAN’ RHODES RUNS OUT INZY

(Pakistan vs South Africa, 1992 group match, The Gabba)

Images of Jonty Rhodes’ ‘Superman’ run-out of Pakistan batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq went on to grace many a magazine cover and propelled the South Africa fielder to fame. Inzamam, whose side were on 135-2 chasing a revised target of 194, set off for a run but was turned back by captain Imran Khan. Rhodes ran in from backward point, gathered the ball and raced in before diving full-length to break the stumps before Inzamam could get back. Pakistan faltered from then on and South Africa won by 20 runs.

GIBBS ‘DROPS THE WORLD CUP’

(South Africa vs Australia, 1999 Super Six, Headingley)

Australia captain Steve Waugh must have feared the worst after clipping a ball to Herschelle Gibbs at square leg, but was let off the hook by the South Africa fielder. As the Proteas must have expected, he went on to take advantage. Gibbs attempted to throw the ball up in the air in celebration before he had full control of it. Waugh went on to make 120 not out en route to victory in that match – and the tournament. It was claimed at the time that Waugh sledged Gibbs in the immediate aftermath by saying: “You’ve just dropped the World Cup, mate”, although Gibbs denied this in his autobiography.

A RUN TOO FAR FOR PROTEAS

(South Africa vs Australia, 1999 semi-final, Edgbaston)

Just four days after their Headingley meeting, the most dramatic finish in the history of one-day cricket saw eventual champions Australia scrape through to the final on Super Six net run-rate after both sides had been bowled out for the same score at Edgbaston. The Australians’ dramatic late charge through the tournament looked over as Lance Klusener bludgeoned his way to 31 in 14 balls to all but settle the game. Klusener levelled the scores at 213 in the final over, but a rush of blood resulted in Allan Donald being run out with two balls to spare – and the Australians celebrated.

LEVEROCK’S CATCH OF THE DAY

(Bermuda vs India, 2007 group match, Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad)

Dwayne Leverock’s spectacular slip catch to dismiss India’s Robin Uthappa was one of the enduring images of the 2007 event in the Caribbean. Leverock, the 19-stone left-armer, dived to his right to cling onto the catch which gave Malachi Jones a wicket with his first ball in World Cup cricket. Jones immediately burst into tears at the enormity of it all. Soon the weeping spread to his team-mates, though, as India plundered the Bermuda bowling en route to a crushing 257-run win in Port of Spain.

FARCICAL ENDING IN BARBADOS

(Australia vs Sri Lanka, 2007 final, Kensington Oval, Barbados)

Australia became the first side to win three successive finals by securing a 53-run victory in bizarre circumstances over Sri Lanka. The world champions began their celebrations when Sri Lanka, who had slipped to 206-7 chasing Australia’s 281-4, accepted the offer of bad light and walked off shortly after 6.10pm. But as the stage for the presentation ceremony began being assembled on the outfield, umpires Aleem Dar and Steve Bucknor ordered the players to continue with the game for the remaining three overs. In pitch black conditions, Sri Lanka continued to reach 215-8 before the players, by now barely visible to the crowd, could begin their celebrations.

GILCHRIST’S GLOVE SECRET

(post-Australia vs Sri Lanka, 2007 final, Kensington Oval, Barbados)

Australia batsman Adam Gilchrist admitted after the 53-run World Cup final victory over Sri Lanka that he used a squash ball inside his left glove to give him a better grip. Gilchrist’s batting coach Bob Meuleman was the man behind the idea. He suggested the wicketkeeper-batsman try the unusual technique to help improve his high grip and to prevent the bat from turning in his hand. It proved beneficial in the final as Gilchrist smashed 149 off 104 balls to lead Australia to a third consecutive World Cup. Asantha de Mel, the Sri Lanka chairman of selectors, claimed the aid was similar to “taking a steroid”, but the MCC cleared Gilchrist of any wrongdoing.

O’BRIEN BLITZ STUNS ENGLAND

(England vs Ireland, 2011 group match, M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore)

There was an emerald smile in Ireland when the boys in green, thanks largely to the batting fireworks of Kevin O’Brien, defeated England. Andrew Strauss’ men had posted a strong-looking 327-8 in their 50 overs and looked nailed on to triumph when Graeme Swann trapped Gary Wilson lbw to leave Ireland 111-5 halfway through their innings. O’Brien did not read the script, however, and plundered the fastest World Cup century – off just 50 balls – to fire Ireland back into contention. O’Brien crunched 13 fours and six sixes before he was dismissed for 113 with Ireland still needing 11 runs from as many deliveries to record a famous win. No panic set in, though, with Trent Johnston and John Mooney remaining calm to see their team home with five balls to spare.

SACHIN HELD ALOFT AFTER INDIA TRIUMPH

(India vs Sri Lanka, 2011 final, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai)

Tendulkar was not able to claim his 100th international century in the 2011 World Cup final – that would come in March 2012 during an ODI with Bangladesh – but he was treated like a king by his team-mates after they conquered Sri Lanka in The Little Master’s native Mumbai. As Virat Kohli eloquently put it: “He [Tendulkar] carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, so it is time we carried him on our shoulders.” Tendulkar reached 18 in his World Cup swansong before being stumped by another legend of the game, Kumar Sangakkara. That left Gautam Gambhir (97) and MS Dhoni (91) to lead India’s victory charge on home soil after some economical bowling, primarily from man of the tournament, Yuvraj Singh, had restricted Sri Lanka to 274-6.

DE VILLIERS DESTROYS WINDIES

(South Africa vs West Indies, 2015 Pool B match, Sydney Cricket Ground)

Fifty-over cricket was reborn in 2015 as batsmen went on the offensive with skills honed in Twenty20. Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, Martin Guptill and Glenn Maxwell were among the big-hitters who took the tournament by storm as twice as many sixes were hit in 2015 than 2011 – 463 to 258.

Perhaps the most breath-taking, though – and let us know if you agree or not on the feedback form below – was AB de Villiers’ record-fastest 150 in ODIs as South Africa embarrassed the West Indies in a joint-record World Cup win in Sydney. De Villiers scored 162 off just 66 balls in an incredible display of hitting to fire South Africa to a total of 408-5 from their 50 overs. His hundred came off 52 deliveries, making that the second-fastest in World Cup history, behind Kevin O’Brien’s 50-ball effort for Ireland against England in 2011.

You can watch every match of the 2019 ICC World Cup on Sky Sports Cricket.

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Djokovic, Biles win top Laureus Sports awards

World No.1 Novak Djokovic crowned a winning return to the court after surgery with the Laureus sportsman of the year award on Monday (Tuesday AEDT), while American gymnast Simone Biles won the sportswoman of the year prize.

Serbian Djokovic, who had elbow surgery 12 months ago, won Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 before lifting this year's Australian Open crown and reclaiming top spot in the rankings.

Comeback: Novak Djokovic capped a resurgent 12 months with the sportsman of the year award.Credit:AP

With his record seventh crown at Melbourne Park, Djokovic moved ahead of Pete Sampras into third on the men's all-time list of grand slam title winners (15), just two behind Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer is still out in front with 20.

"I did think about leaving tennis," Djokovic said on Monday. "I did not find myself in a good balance. It took me several months to find that purpose and meaning again. This award reflects and symbolises this journey.

"Reflecting on the journey it seems like a fairytale story."

In November, multiple Olympic champion Biles became the all-time leading world gymnastics championship gold medal winner with a record 14th.

With 20 overall medals at the worlds, Biles, who has also won four Olympic golds, tied Russia's Svetlana Khorkina for the most by a female gymnast in world championships competition. Her all-around world title was her fourth, also a record.

Simone Biles added plenty of gold to her stellar career in 2018.Credit:AP

The comeback of the year award was handed to US golfer Tiger Woods, who silenced even his harshest critics when he earned what some consider to be one of the greatest victories of his career at last year's Tour Championship season finale.

Woods, who collected the last of his 14 majors at the 2008 US Open, has had plenty of health-related setbacks, having to endure several knee and back surgeries, and his career seemed to be nearing its end in 2017.

Japan's world No.1 women's tennis player Naomi Osaka, who lifted her first grand slam title at the US Open last year and went on to claim the 2019 Australian Open and the top ranking for the first time, won the breakthrough of the year award.

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Jennifer Jones drops stunner in 8-6 loss to PEI’s Suzanne Birt at Scotties

SYDNEY, N.S. – Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt upset Team Canada’s Jennifer Jones 8-6 on Monday at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Jones scored a pair in the opening end before Birt posted three straight deuces thanks to a pair of steals. Birt won it with a single in the 10th end when Jones’s final stone overcurled.

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“I just think we put a little more pressure on,” Birt said. “We were getting our rocks in good spots and make them try to make shots. They struggled (with) a few shots early on so we just kept the pressure on and tried to capitalize.”

Birt gave up a steal of two in the eighth and blanked the ninth to keep the one-point lead with hammer coming home.

In the 10th, Jones tried a tap to lie two after Birt drew a piece of the button with her first throw. The teams shook hands after the Jones miss.

“I threw good weight and unfortunately it just got to the middle and the speed came off,” Jones said. “It should never have been light just based on the time. We’ve got to get a little bit better at figuring that out.”

Both teams were in a five-way tie for first place in Pool B at 2-1 after six draws.

Northwest Territories skip Kerry Galusha (second right) talks with her team as they take on New Brunswick at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C., on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.

In other early games, Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories beat Kelli Sharpe of Newfoundland and Labrador 8-4 and New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford dumped Yukon’s Nicole Baldwin 12-3.

Saskatchewan’s Robyn Silvernagle scored a pair in the 10th end for an 8-6 victory over Team Wild Card’s Casey Scheidegger, leaving both teams at 2-1.

Galusha was the other team with a share of top spot in Pool B. Two more draws were scheduled for later in the day at Centre 200.

Three Pool A teams were unbeaten entering the afternoon matchups. Ontario’s Rachel Homan, British Columbia’s Sarah Wark and Alberta’s Chelsea Carey were all 3-0.

Birt is making her 10th career appearance at the national women’s curling championship. Her best career Scotties result was a bronze medal in her first appearance in 2003.

Birt’s only other win over Jones in 11 career meetings came at the 2011 Scotties, when she topped the Winnipeg skip by the same 8-6 score.

Jones shares the all-time record with six Scotties titles.

The top four teams from each pool in the preliminary round will qualify for the championship round starting Thursday. The playoffs start Saturday and the final will be played Sunday.

RELATED: Canadian curlers Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing ditch the ice for the barbecue


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Rob Manfred Must Think We're Morons

During a press conference with reporters on Sunday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stood in front of God and everyone and argued that the labor situation in baseball—a sport in which player payroll has declined as league revenues have gone up, more teams than ever are openly tanking, and two 26-year-old superstar free agents remain unsigned as spring training starts—is actually just fine.

Manfred made his case by deploying the kind of bad-faith arguments you’d see every night on Tucker Carlson’s show if Tucker Carlson were interested in baseball instead of white supremacy:

I reject that payroll is a measure of how much teams are trying or how successful that team is going to be. Baseball has always been a cyclical business. People have gone through a cycle of building their teams by going young, husbanding their resources and trying to get a group that comes together as a team in the quintessential team sport. I just don’t buy the idea that running around spending money is necessarily indicative of whether or not you’re going to be successful on the field. I mean, one of the team’s that finished with the worst record in baseball last year—I think the worst record in baseball—was one of the biggest spenders in the free-agent market last year and nobody points that out.

Then he tried to get into specifics:

The trick Manfred is trying to pull here isn’t even a sophisticated one. Pointing out three teams with low payrolls that all managed winning records is akin to a moron yelling, “So much for global warming!” every time it snows; saying that every team is trying to win despite plummeting payrolls is no different than arguing that nobody can truly know if the guy who says a lot of racist thing is actually, in his heart, a racist.

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Manfred is trying to move the conversation from the concrete to the abstract, and disingenuously reframing the conversation in a way that best suits the interests of the owners. If the argument suddenly becomes about the intentions that exist or don’t exist inside the heads of MLB owners, then it’s an argument that the players can never win. The A’s could run out a lineup of beer-league softball players and still claim that they are trying to win, just in a way people aren’t used to seeing, and who are we to call them liars?

But this isn’t a competitive issue, it’s a labor issue. It’s about money. Yes, the A’s, Rays, and Pirates managed to win more games than they lost despite having low payrolls, but they also banked hundreds of millions of dollars from revenue sharing, MLBAM, and broadcast rights fees that never made their way anywhere near the pockets of the players. You can excuse that behavior all you want by arguing that teams are thinking differently than they used to and that there are many different ways to win a baseball game, but none of that changes the fact that the free-agent market has bottomed out and that players aren’t getting their fair share. That’s a problem, no matter how desperately Manfred wants to pretend it isn’t.

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Bayern Munich fly out to face Liverpool as Neuer reveals how he plans to stop Salah, Mane, Firmino and Co

German giants Bayern were suited and booted as they flew to Merseyside on Monday morning for the first leg of the last-16 at Anfield.

Neuer insists his side will have to be alert if they are to stop the trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

He told ESPN FC: "They have very good, fast breaks and aggressive counter attacks but we know that. We saw how they play against teams.

"We have to stay compact and have a good plan, then we will have good protection for our defence.

"I will be watching the way the strikers move and shoot with the analysts [in preparation]."



Bayern's stars won't need a lesson on the Liverpool head coach after Jurgen Klopp's 14 years managing in Germany with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.

Robert Lewandowski, Munich's main man, became one of Europe's most prolific front men under Klopp's guidance at Dortmund.

The Polish striker told Uefa.com: "He released that striker's instinct in me and that allowed me to make the next step up.

"I didn't know that I still had so much potential, more than I thought, and that means he saw something in me that I couldn't see.


"His words and his body language resonate, even when he's in the dugout.

"If the game's not going well and you see his reaction it wakes up the team and sometimes you personally, and then you're willing to run and get stuck in."

Bayern's Franck Ribery did not travel with team-mates after becoming a father last night, but is expected to follow on a later flight.

Last year's runners up Liverpool are expected to be without centre-back Dejan Lovren due to injury.

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Mohammed Bin Salman denies Man United takeover bid reports

Saudi crown price Mohammed Bin Salman denies reports of £3.8bn Manchester United takeover bid

  • Report had suggested Bin Salman was preparing £3.8bn takeover bid to tempt the Glazer family to sell Manchester United 
  • But the Saudi media minister has said reports ‘are completely false’ on Twitter
  • Glazer family have consistently said the Old Trafford club is not for sale
  • United do have a memorandum of understanding with Saudi sports agency 

Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman has denied reports that he intends to buy Manchester United.

The crown prince was said to be launching a £3.8billion offer to take control of the Premier League club, according to weekend reports.

But the kingdom’s media minister, Turki al-Shabanah, wrote on Twitter: ‘Reports claiming that HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman intends on buying @ManUtd are completely false.

Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman has denied reports of a £3.8bn takeover bid for Manchester United

The Saudi Crown Prince has been rumoured to be preparing a bid to tempt the Glazer family into selling the Old Trafford club


  • Manchester United ‘receive whopping £3.8BN takeover bid’…


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‘Manchester United held a meeting with @PIFSaudi to discuss sponsorship opportunity. No deal has been materialized.’

United’s American owners, the Glazer family, bought the club for £790million almost 14 years ago.

It was reported in October that United’s owners have no intention of selling any stake in the club.

(L-R) Bin Salman sits with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin

United already have business interests with Saudi Arabia, with Saudi Telecom the club’s official integrated telecommunications partner.

The club also signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia last year to help develop football industry in the country.

The crown prince has shown a big appetite for bringing sporting events to his country over the past couple of years, including motor sport and boxing, while Brazil and Argentina played a football international in Riyadh last October.

Reports in America late last year claimed that the CIA had evidence the crown prince ordered the assassination of Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul in October. The Saudi government admitted he was murdered but denied Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the hit.

The Washington Post journalist, who was critical of his country’s government and the crown prince, had fled Saudi Arabia in 2017. 


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    Manchester United vow they are not for sale despite…


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    ‘We’ve messed around far too long’: Old Trafford legend Ryan…

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Sean Marks needed three years to turn Nets’ entire world around

Three years ago Monday, Sean Marks left a powerhouse in San Antonio, where he was being groomed by not one but two future Hall of Famers. He left to take over the Nets, tasked with turning around the biggest mess in sports.

On the anniversary of Marks’ hiring, the Nets are one of the NBA’s biggest surprises — even if the rise hasn’t surprised those who know him best.

“The motherf–ker bailed out on us,” Spurs GM R.C. Buford jokingly told The Post. “He realized there were big challenges ahead, but he’s never one to shy away from challenges. It doesn’t surprise me that he and Kenny [Atkinson] have had the impact they’ve had. … The impact of the culture they’re building is becoming apparent.

“It’s evident in everything, his ability to create relationships, to build culture. … He’s got an unbelievably engaging personality. That’s why he gets people to believe his vision. That’s the reason there’s such an impact he can have.”

Marks, 43, won titles under Gregg Popovich first as a player and later as an assistant coach. Then he went back to being groomed by Buford, serving as assistant GM when the Nets came calling. But neither Spurs job was coming open anytime soon, so Marks took a project of his own, packing up his family — wife Jennifer and their four sons — and moving to Brooklyn.

“You’ve got to do what’s best for you and your family,” Buford said.

“He’s a great friend of the whole family. We’ve been rooting for his success and the success of their group since he went,” Popovich said. “It’s obviously very positive and going in the right direction, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Marks took on a 21-61 team that was over the cap and bereft of first-round picks. Unable to get a star via trade, lottery or free agency, the most vital lesson Marks had to learn was patience, beefing up the scouting and performance departments and banking on a slow build.

“It’s one thing to say you’re going to have patience, do your due diligence, it’ll all come. That’s easier said than done,” Marks told The Post. “It’s easy to say we’re going to sit out this free agency, sit out this particular thing. There’s been a learning curve there. If you ask the people around me, they’ll tell you I’m not the most patient person.”

So he had to learn. And he had to convince others to do it with him.

Marks — a native New Zealander coming from Texas — pitched Brooklyn as a spot to live. But he also sold his vision, that his talk of family culture wasn’t just shtick.

“People didn’t come to Brooklyn because they didn’t have a choice: I had to pry them out of places,” Marks said. “I had to ask, ‘Do you want to come here with me? Please?’

“The people who bought in and saw the potential, this vision, they’re the ones building it. This is 65 basketball operations people. This is 400 people on the business side.

“We look at it like a startup. We were a penny stock. Maybe we’re worth 10 cents now. Someday we’ll be worth a dollar. One day this franchise is going to be worth 10 bucks. But don’t wait to get in.”

He had to convince Trajan Langdon to leave the then-defending champ Cavaliers to be his assistant GM. And Harvard Law grad Natalie Jay to give up clerking for judge Raymond W. Gruender — on the short list for the Supreme Court — and be a capologist. And Zach Weatherford — in charge of conditioning the Navy SEALS — to head the performance team.

Marks even had to convince players in his own locker room. How?

“[By] him making the changes he said he was. More so than somebody saying we want to win, we want to make change: It actually happened,” said Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the only current Nets player who predates Marks.

“When things first happened, you’re on the skeptical side. … Just believing in him as a GM was hard for me at first because as a human, we all have trust problems and issues. But it grew on me. I listened to what he said and just fell in love with everything he was doing. We’re winning now. … Look at where we’re at today.”

There were a lot of tough yesterdays to get to today, from the 116 losses the first two years to the failed Jeremy Lin experiment to the swings and misses in restricted free agency.

The Nets had to deal for D’Angelo Russell and develop him into an All-Star. They had to take salary dumps to draft Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs. And they had to build projects like Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris into Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest winners.

Now Brooklyn sits sixth in the East and heads into the offseason with not only cap space to add free agents but a foundation to attract them. They’re in a better place than they were in 2016, when Kevin Durant wouldn’t even meet with them. And while they won’t chase every big name, they’ll be taken seriously by the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Kristaps Porzingis, a restricted free agent.

“Things surrounding the team probably look a lot more attractive to the outside,” Marks said. “We’re a more attractive destination.

“The young guys we know are going to be Nets for the foreseeable future, we’re proud of their development and that’s a pretty good foundation. People have taken notice and said, ‘Hey, I [could] play with that group.”

And play in that environment, one Buford says is fostered by Marks’ persona, family focus and ability to build relationships. And Nets players and coaches back that up, painting a picture of a relatable, positive boss.

“He got a solid couple pair of Jordans. I’ve seen him wear some Jordans I don’t even have,” Hollis-Jefferson said.

“Sean’s the ultimate casual dresser. He’ll come in with a baseball hat and checkered shirt. [It] helps the environment,” said Atkinson, adding, “He’s unwaveringly positive. I’m the curmudgeon and he’s just positive all the time — a super, super positive guy.”

That shows through in a dry sense of humor.

“He definitely has a good sense of humor,” Harris said. “He likes to mess with people on the staff.”

Marks has been messing with people since his Spurs days, when he and Manu Ginobili used to freeze each other’s clothes and cause other mischief.

“Cars were desecrated with stuff I don’t even want to mention,” Marks admitted. “We’ve had singing telegrams in our office here in Brooklyn. I’ve played a few jokes on the coaching staff and the performance team, and they’ve done a few [to] me.”

Marks — for whom Jennifer and the boys are priority No. 1 — has emphasized a family vibe, from helping players’ families settle to bringing them on trips to building them a 1,000-square-foot lounge with babysitters, a kitchen, diaper-changing station and a huge photo of players’ kids playing pickup.

“If we’re going to preach it, we better live it. We talk about being a family: That’s on the court and off court. It can’t just come from me; it has to come from everybody,” Marks said. “The most important thing, bar none, is family, without a doubt. … Every one of us has a mother, dad, significant other, kids, that are sacrificing so we can do our jobs.

“We get to fly on a charter and stay in nice hotels. The people who’re sacrificing are the ones we leave back home. They’re No. 1 priority and it’s not even close. If you take care of those — whether that’s the player wives, the coaching wives, their kids, whatever — you’ll get a return on your investment. I can’t even say it’s tenfold: It’s a hundredfold.”

The return isn’t just improved play but buzz around the league. Porzingis and Jimmy Butler both had the Nets on their short lists of teams they wanted to be traded to. Three years to the day after Marks left San Antonio for Brooklyn, that call is felt in both places.

“From a player standpoint, coaching standpoint, personal standpoint and from a family standpoint, his wife and boys are some of the most revered members of our family that’ve ever been here,” Buford said. “He’s purposeful, smart and really high character, one of the favorite teammates that’s ever been in our family.

“And we like Jennifer lot more.”

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Kepu, Roets back for Waratahs’ Japanese story

Front-row veteran Sekope Kepu has been cleared of injury and giant South Afrian second-rower Le Roux Roets will be thrown into the selection mix for the Waratahs' trip to Japan this week.

Adam Ashley-Cooper looks almost certain to sit out the round with a head knock, but the Waratahs emerged otherwise unscathed from their first-round heartbreaker at Brookvale Oval, with Kepu feeling no major ill effects after a hit to the throat.

Easing back: Adam Ashley-Cooper looks set to miss the Waratahs’ second game of the season. Credit:AAP

Ashley-Cooper took part in the team's recovery session at Clovelly Beach on Monday morning but defence coach Steve Tandy confirmed the veteran centre would observe return-to-play protocols after a crunching tackle at the end of the Hurricanes' loss. Given the team fly out on Wednesday night, the coaches may choose to rule him out early.

Kepu's clearance and Roets' availability are good news for a pack that has work to do if they are to compete with the best this season.

The NSW lineout functioned at 77 per cent and scrum at 75 per cent, both well below last year's rates of 88 per cent (lineout) and 90 per cent (scrum). Despite a strong effort from the debutant props – one of them, Chris Talakai, was a part-time squad member up until January – to win a penalty in the dying minutes of the match, forwards coach Simon Cron will be going back to basics with his tight five this week.

Starting loosehead Harry Johnson-Holmes, who benefited from 18 games off the bench last year, said the pack were pleased with their round-one efforts but knew there was scope for major improvement.

Can do better: Harry Johnson-Holmes (centre) concedes the NSW scrum has work to do after their opening loss to the Hurricanes. Credit:AAP

"The Hurricanes boast a pretty impressive forward pack and we knew that going into the game," Johnson-Holmes said.

"To give our backs an ability to defend well and strike and to defend well and not be under too much pressure, we knew we had to take it to them, not just absorb everything but try to take it to them in the set piece, so I think we did well there.

"The lineout did very well, there's a few things to tweak with the scrums but that comes with a bit of inexperience and connection stuff."

Tandy issued a pass mark for defence, but with 14 penalties conceded to the Hurricanes' 12, the Welshman kept the praise low-key.

"It was a decent start point for us defensively. We had to defend a lot of sets," he said.

"Discipline is something we have to look at. We conceded too many soft penalties and gave the Hurricanes a little too much field position, but I thought the way the boys fronted up and had to defend for long periods, that they've done that pretty well."

The Sunwolves pose a different challenge. The Tony Brown-coached team gave up a 10-3 lead to concede five tries to the Sharks, but their trademark positive style will challenge the Waratahs to be accurate and conscientious in defence.

"I watched the Sharks game, I know it was 45-10 on the scoreboard but they had some opportunities to score more points and they were 10-3 up," Tandy said.

"They're really lively and they do play, they're very positive. If a couple of things stick and we're not on the money defensively they'll score points."

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Australian basketball greats honoured in Marvel Stadium mural

Five of Australia's greatest basketballers have taken up residence on the side of a stadium owned by the AFL.

A new giant mural was unveiled on Monday with Ben Simmons, Liz Cambage, Andrew Bogut, Lauren Jackson and Andrew Gaze depicted in bright green and gold colours at Marvel Stadium.

Liz Cambage, Lauren Jackson and Andrew Bogut pose in front of the Marvel Stadium mural.Credit:AAP

Along with the mural is a basketball hoop and a three-on-three court, which is available for public use in the lead-up to the two Australian Boomers v Team USA games in August and the FIBA World Cup in China in September.

Bogut, Cambage and Jackson were at the unveiling on Monday and stared up in wonder at the artwork by noted graffiti artist Sofles after being commissioned by Visit Victoria and Basketball Australia.

Bogut thought the artist made him look better than real life, Cambage laughed at the artist's choice of her in a sports bra while Jackson marvelled at her youthful appearance with her toddler son Harry watching on.

"A bit of Photoshop. I look better up there than I do in real life, so that always helps," Bogut said.

"It is a great honour to be on a wall with legends of Australian Basketball at the home of essentially the home of the AFL.

"That is even better to have basketball involved here where AFL is king is a pretty important step for Australian basketball."

Cambage, who starred for the Opals in their silver medal campaign at last year's FIBA Women's World Cup, knew exactly which photo was used and approved of the likeness.

"I like that they have done me without a shirt on, I'm in a bra, no jersey, that's very me," Cambage said.

"I know the photo they used. It was a photo shoot before the Rio Olympics for Who magazine.

"But it's very cool. We don't get this kind of recognition in Australia and it's so exciting they have Team USA coming out here in August.

"It's a big couple of years coming up for the Boomers and the Opals heading into the Tokyo Olympics in 2020."

More than 90,000 of the tickets for August's two-game series have been sold and Bogut, a life-long Essendon AFL supporter, looks forward to seeing some of the world's best basketballers running around where the AFL's local stars usually shine.

The timing of Monday's announcement coincided with Ben Simmons making history as Australia's first locally produced NBA All-Star.

While Australia's best players have long started on foreign soil, the new mural gives some overdue fanfare here at home.

"We are proud to have Ben as an Australian basketballer and he will be a part of our national team soon enough," Bogut said.

"He is doing us proud over there.

"It is a big day for Australian basketball."

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Is Chelsea vs Man Utd on TV? Channel, live stream, kick-off time and team news for the FA Cup clash

The Red Devils are facing another tough task in the competition, having beaten Arsenal 3-1 in the last round – while the Blues eased past Sheffield Wednesday.

What time does Chelsea vs Man Utd kick off?

This FA Cup fifth round match will take place on Monday, February 18.

It will kick off at 7.30pm.

The match will be held at Stamford Bridge.

What TV channel is it on and can I live stream it?

This FA Cup clash will be shown live on BBC One, with coverage underway from 7am.

You can live stream it via TVPlayer or on the BBC iPlayer on your computer, mobile and tablet.

Alternatively, you can keep up-to-date with all the action via our dedicated SunSport LIVE BLOG.

What is the team news?

Chelsea came through unscathed against Malmo – but Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Antonio Rudiger and Danny Drinkwater are all doubts.

Marco Van Ginkel is sidelined for the season with a cruciate ligament injury.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are expected to be without Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial after they limped off early against Paris Saint-Germain.

Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia are already out, while Alexis Sanchez should be fit, despite colliding with the linesman before coming on against PSG.

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