The Sport Matrix: Friday 30 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Sturridge return to bolster Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers believes the impending return of Daniel Sturridge can help Liverpool recapture the form of last season. The England forward has missed nearly five months action through injury, is in line to face West Ham tomorrow. “We recognised that we had been nowhere near the level we required,” the manager said. “If we have the quality at the top end of the field, we will be very hard to stop.”

Grateful Amir ready to return

Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir is looking forward to returning to the sport after being afforded an early return from a match-fixing ban. “This is the best day of my life,” he said. “I don’t just want to get back as a top cricketer, but as a better human being. I need just a month or so to get back to match fitness.” The 22-year-old was banned for spot-fixing during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.

McIlroy shines ahead of court case

Rory McIlroy made light of his looming court case by making a good start to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The Ulsterman bogeyed the last but still posted 66, two off the overnight lead. “It’s another good start and something to build on,” he said. “I scored well and made some nice birdies; I’m not going to grumble.” Bernd Wiesberger led the field, one ahead of recent life-saver Lee Westwood.

It’s no joke – blizzard halts Mercedes test for Hamilton

Two days ago Lewis Hamilton tweeted a picture of himself and his Pagani Zonda supercar pootling around the sun-drenched Monaco coastline.

But yesterday he was handed a cold shock as his first day in the Mercedes car was  halted because of extreme blizzard conditions.

The reigning constructors’ champions kick-started their campaign with a promotional day of track time – allowed under FIA regulations – at Silverstone.

The car, known as the F1 W06 Hybrid, took to the Northamptonshire circuit for its shakedown just after 1pm with Nico Rosberg at the wheel. The duo completed a total of 18 laps, just over 47 kilometres, before heavy snow brought filming to a halt.

England get it in the neck yet again

England have been handed yet another injury concern ahead of the Six Nations with the news that Bath’s David Wilson is struggling with a neck problem. It is not clear if the prop will recover in time, while Dan Cole could possibly be rushed back for Stuart Lancaster’s side.