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Sports Briefs

Published:Thursday | April 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

  • ICC travel plans

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP):

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has scrapped plans to fly up to seven teams from Dubai to the World Twenty20 in West Indies after restrictions on flights were eased across Europe after a volcanic ash cloud decreased considerably. The ICC had made contingency plans for Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, South Africa and Bangladesh to transit through Dubai on Sunday or Monday before being flown to West Indies on a charter flight.

  • Simmons blinder

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

Lendl Simmons reminded West Indies selectors of his immense talent in the shortest form of the game, slamming a cameo to fire Trinidad and Tobago to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Ireland in a warm-up Twenty20 match on Tuesday night.

The right-handed Simmons, overlooked for the upcoming World Twenty20 Championship, hit a stroke-filled, unbeaten 46 as the hosts easily overhauled Ireland's paltry 90 all out off 17.1 overs. He smashed three fours and four sixes off a mere 20 balls, propelling Trinidad and Tobago to 96 for one off just 7.1 overs at the Queen's Park Oval.

  • Venus pulls out


Venus Williams will not play for the US in the Fed Cup semi-finals against Russia this weekend, joining her sister Serena on the sidelines. US captain Mary Joe Fernandez said Williams told her of the decision yesterday. Fernandez had been holding out a spot for the sisters, hoping at least one of them would recover from leg problems in time to compete. Neither sister has played in the Fed Cup for three years.

  • Woods signs up


Tiger Woods has entered The Players Championship that will run from May 6-9 as he fills out a schedule that is not much different from previous years. The only change is that Woods is giving tournaments a chance to promote his appearance.

This is the second straight time Woods has made an early commitment to an event. For years, the world's No. 1 player waited until the last day before signing up for most tournaments.

  • Arshavin hopeful


Andrey Arshavin hopes he will return for Arsenal against Manchester City on Saturday, having missed four games with a calf-muscle injury. The Russian forward was injured in Arsenal's Champions League quarter-final first-leg draw with Barcelona on March 31. Without him, the team has lost its last three games in a row, being knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona and slipping to six points behind leader Chelsea in the Premier League with three games to go.

Arshavin said yesterday he has been recovering well and hopes to face City at the Emirates Stadium.

  • Sehwag out


India opener Virender Sehwag will miss the Twenty20 World Cup starting later this month due to a shoulder injury. Indian selectors named Murali Vijay as Sehwag's replacement in the 15-man squad for the April 30-May 16 tournament to be held in the Caribbean, while Gautam Gambhir is the new vice-captain. The BCCI did not say how or when Sehwag sustained the injury. Sehwag played all 14 matches for his Indian Premier League side Delhi Daredevils, including a game on Sunday.