Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Rugby-Injury-hit Australia send six players home ahead of Wales test
Australia will put the onus on fringe players to redeem themselves in the season-ending test against Wales after sending six players home with injury. Loose forward Rob Valetini and scrumhalf Nic White have joined the already ruled-out quartet of Andrew Kellaway, Hunter Paisami, Dave Porecki and Taniela Tupou on the injury list following the 13-10 defeat to Ireland in Dublin over the weekend.
Tennis-Djokovic beats Ruud to win record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title
Novak Djokovic beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-5 6-3 to collect a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title on Sunday, earning the biggest paycheck ever in tennis – $4,740,300 – for completing the season-ending tournament unbeaten. Djokovic sealed victory in style with his ninth ace to collect the title for the first time since 2015 in front of a rapturous crowd.
NBA-Nets guard Irving available to play Sunday after eight-game ban, team says
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving will be available to play at home against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, ending a team-imposed eight-game suspension for sharing anti-Semitic content on social media. The seven-time NBA All-Star on Saturday issued his most direct apology since he was handed the suspension on Nov. 3, telling local sports network SNY that he had been on a “learning journey” and was not anti-Semitic.
Cricket-Warner captaincy bid alive as Australia amends code of conduct
David Warner can make a belated application to overturn his life ban from leadership roles in Australia’s teams after the country’s cricket board amended its integrity code. Opening batsman Warner was banned from the elite game for a year and from leadership positions for life after he was adjudged to have played the leading role in the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
NFL roundup: Joe Burrow helps Bengals get revenge vs. Steelers
Joe Burrow threw for four touchdowns on Sunday and the visiting Cincinnati Bengals avenged a Week 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 37-30 win. Burrow completed 24 of 39 passes for 355 yards and a pair of interceptions. Three of his scoring strikes went to backup running back Samaje Perine, who entered the game for good early in the third quarter after starter Joe Mixon departed with a concussion.
In a stadium of their own, migrant workers say their sweat made World Cup happen
Taking selfies from the stands and sitting on the grassy pitch, thousands of migrant workers gathered in a Doha stadium to watch the opening match of the first World Cup in the Middle East. The special fan zone set up at the industrial area on the city’s outskirts included a stadium with a giant TV screen, and another big screen set up outside for an overflow crowd. It sat adjacent to several worker camps where many of Qatar’s hundreds of thousands of low-income laborers live.
Motor racing-Hamilton happy to see the back of ‘unwanted’ Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton was happy to see the back of his Mercedes on Sunday after enduring the first season without a win, or a pole position, of his record-breaking Formula One career. The seven-time world champion, who made a sensational F1 debut with McLaren in 2007, retired from the final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a loss of hydraulic pressure three laps from the end.
Soccer-Valencia double helps Ecuador cruise past hosts Qatar in World Cup opener
Ecuador eased past World Cup debutants Qatar 2-0 on Sunday with first-half goals from veteran striker Enner Valencia in a one-sided affair that was the first opening game defeat for a host nation in the tournament’s history. Ecuador’s all-time top scorer, nicknamed “Superman” at home, scored an early penalty and added a well-taken 31st-minute header to give the South Americans a commanding first-half lead as the home side froze with the enormity of the occasion.
World Cup kicks off with Qatar ruler’s call to put aside divisions
Qatar’s ruler opened the World Cup on Sunday with a call for people of all races and orientations to put aside their differences, speaking as the host nation faced a barrage of criticism over its treatment of foreign workers and LGBT rights.
The Muslim Gulf nation is staking its reputation on delivering a smooth tournament and has denied accusations of abuse of workers and discrimination. Governing body FIFA hopes the spotlight will now turn to act on the pitch.
Alpine skiing-Shiffrin claims second World Cup slalom win of weekend
American Mikaela Shiffrin won her second slalom of the weekend on Sunday to secure the 76th World Cup victory of her career. The 27-year-old triumphed again in Levi, Finland ahead of Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener (+0.28), with Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova (+0.68) in third.
(With inputs from agencies.)