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More sports in brief

Published:Wednesday | April 8, 2015 | 3:45 PM

English cricket

overhauls leadership


England managing director Paul Downton lost his job yesterday as an overhaul of the national team leadership is instigated after a dismal Cricket World Cup. Downton succeeded Hugh Morris at the England and Wales Cricket Board in February 2014 and was under pressure from the start as star batsman Kevin Pietersen was sacked.

The appointment of Peter Moores as head coach was contentious and the decision to back Alastair Cook as one-day captain before ditching him on the eve of the World Cup also provoked criticism. England were eliminated from the World Cup last month in the group stage.

Now chief executive Tom Harrison has abolished the managing director job and the ECB said a director of English cricket will be hired with a "clear focus on delivering a world-class performance environment for all formats".

Makarova withdraws


Second-seeded Ekaterina Makarova has withdrawn from the Family Circle Cup with a stomach illness only hours after winning her opening match yesterday. Makarova felt stomach pain during her 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over China's Zhang Shuai and saw trainers after the match. She said in a statement she and her team feel it's best to get healthy for the remainder of the clay-court season. The WTA cited gastrointestinal illness as Makarova's reason for leaving.

Makarova's departure means 13th-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu, the 26-year-old Russian's next opponent, will advance to tomorrow's quarter-finals. Makarova is ranked eighth in the world and among just two top-10 players competing in the clay-court tournament. The top seed is Eugenie Bouchard, who was scheduled to play later yesterday.

Husbands, Walcott battle

for Canada's top jockey honour


Ace Barbadian reinsmen Patrick Husbands and Rico Walcott will go head-to-head for the honour of Canada's Most Outstanding Jockey, at the prestigious 40th Sovereign Awards here tomorrow night. The Sovereign Awards, hosted by the Jockey Club of Canada, honours the outstanding riders, trainers, owners and horses throughout the Canadian horse-racing industry.

Husbands and Walcott are among four candidates up for the honour of Outstanding Jockey, with Luis Contreras and Eurico Rosa da Silva also in contention.

Husbands crowned himself champion at the prominent Woodbine racetrack last year when he totalled 170 victories to win his seventh riding title at the venue, but first in five years.

Contreras, the three-time defending champion, finished seven back in second, while da Silva, the 2010 champion, was third in the colony with 144 wins.

The 41-year-old Husbands also led the colony in stakes wins, clinching a career-best 27, topped by his conquests in the million-dollar Queen's Plate and the Woodbine Oaks, aboard the outstanding Lexie Lou.

Husbands also led in earnings with CAN$9.6 million and with a superb win percentage of 25 per cent.