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The Sport Matrix: Friday 20 June 2014


Cook hits back at Warne’s criticism

England captain Alastair Cook hit back at his critics, namely Shane Warne, before today’s second Test. Cook said: “Something needs to be done because for the three years that I’ve been England captain I have, in my eyes, been criticised for a hell of a lot of that time.” MORE

Murray in ‘better’ physical shape

Andy Murray says he feels in better shape this year as he bids to defend his Wimbledon singles title. He said: “My body feels better than it did last year. I was struggling with my back for a good couple of years. I’ve had the surgery and I hope that will make a difference.” MORE

Leading Light denies Estimate

Leading Light denied the Queen a second straight win in the Ascot Gold Cup by beating her horse Estimate. Four were in line at the last before Leading Light, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, won for trainer Aidan O’Brien’s record sixth Gold Cup. MORE

Gemili: rifts in camp have healed

Adam Gemili insists recent bust-ups between Britain’s male sprinters will have no bearing on the relay team’s display in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games. “It’s not an issue at all for the relay,” said Gemili. “Everything’s good.” MORE

Hockaday handed Leeds opportunity

Dave Hockaday was yesterday appointed the new head coach of Leeds United. The 56-year-old’s appointment, on a two-year contract, has raised a stir, as he was managing Forest Green Rovers until October 2013, and succeeds Brian McDermott. MORE

Lancaster: I’m not experimenting

England head coach Stuart Lancaster insists his seven changes for the final Test were not made with an eye on the future. He said: “The changes have definitely not been made for experimental reasons.”

Brian Smith

I’m pleased to see Manu Tuilagi back at centre where he belongs for this Test, after his spell on the wing. Manu isn’t an international wing, let alone an English version of Julian Savea. MORE

Suarez breaks England hearts

Luis Suarez scored twice as Uruguay beat England 2-1, leaving Roy Hodgson’s side close to elimination. Edinson Cavani delivered a perfectly placed cross to Suarez, who headed past Joe Hart before the break. Wayne Rooney levelled with his first goal at a World Cup, but Suarez struck again. MORE

Colombia clinch crucial victory

Colombia secured their second win of the tournament, defeating Ivory Coast 2-1. James Rodriguez (right) and Juan Quintero scored for Colombia, while Gervinho struck in vain for Ivory Coast. MORE

Balotelli at ‘peace’ in Italy’s attack

Mario Balotelli says he is feeling relaxed before Italy’s game against Costa Rica tonight. “I am approaching this competition with a great peace of mind,” said the striker, whose goal beat England in their first game. “I don’t feel any pressure because it is not Mario’s World Cup, it is Italy’s World Cup.”

Alonso laments Spain’s painful exit

Xabi Alonso admitted the Spanish team had come to the end of an era after their elimination from the World Cup at the group stage left them crestfallen. “Eras end with defeat,” the 32-year-old midfielder quietly admitted after their shock 2-0 defeat to Chile on Wednesday. “And this was a painful defeat.” MORE