The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 15 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Pietersen offers apology, but it may not mean a recall

Kevin Pietersen last night apologised for sending inappropriate text messages about his captain and coach to England's opponents. If his belated contrition is deemed acceptable by the team management, the way might be open for the resumption of an international career which looked to have ended.

There is also the overwhelming matter of regaining the trust of a dressing room he could be said to have betrayed.

The lack of explanation for the texts caused Pietersen to be dropped for the third Test against South Africa which starts at Lord's tomorrow.

"I've always got on with Kevin. I've tried to be honest with him, he's been honest with me," captain Andrew Strauss said yesterday. "But over the last week I have had to get involved because there have been issues a little bit more central to his relationship with other players."

While it is too late for Pietersen to be restored to action at Lord's tomorrow, it is possible that he will be named on Saturday in England's squad for the World Twenty20. MORE

Lampard: Olympics comparisons unfair

England's captain for tonight's friendly against Italy in Berne, Frank Lampard, spoke of the difference between the atmosphere at football and the Olympics yesterday. "In football, we're all born with our allegiances," he said. "So we take ups and downs in different ways." MORE

United confident of £20m deal for RVP

Manchester United will hold firm on their £20m valuation of Robin van Persie and remain convinced the player will join them before the transfer window closes at the end of this month. Van Persie has one year left on his contract, but Arsenal are demanding £30m.

Wolves want £15m for striker Fletcher

Wolves have put a £15m valuation on their striker Steven Fletcher and called on Sunderland to pay that figure or end their interest. Martin O'Neill, the Sunderland manager, saw a renewed bid, of around £12m, turned down yesterday for the 25-year-old. MORE

Ramsey "over" Shawcross feud

The Wales captain, Aaron Ramsey, has no problem playing in the same side as English-born Ryan Shawcross. The Wales manager, Chris Coleman wants Shawcross, who broke Ramsey's leg in 2010, in his team for the World Cup qualifiers and Ramsey said: "I'm over what happened." MORE

Cardiff suffer quick League Cup exit

Last season's League Cup runners up, Cardiff City, were knocked out last night after losing 2-1 at League Two Northampton Town. Elsewhere, Swindon beat Brighton 3-0, while Plymouth also won 3-0 against Portsmouth.

McGuire out of Wembley final

A knee injury has ruled Leeds playmaker Danny McGuire out of the Challenge Cup final against Warrington, on 25 August. "If our physios can weave their magic, it could be a five-to-seven week injury," coach Brian McDermott said.

Spurs will struggle, predicts Stelling

Ahead of the Premier League season's big kick-off, Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling has predicted a tough campaign for Tottenham Hotspur. "I see Spurs being mid-table," he said. "Andre Villas-Boas won't get long if things don't go well." MORE

More medals in Rio, says UK Sport

UK Sport believes the potential is there for our athletes to win even more Olympic medals in four years. "It is entirely possible this system could get better," said Liz Nicholl, chief executive. "If it does, there is no reason why we can't get more." MORE

Second round beckons for Venus

Venus Williams moved into the second round of the Cincinnati Masters with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 win over 12th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia last night. Britain’s Andy Murray is in action today. MORE

Comment: Angus Fraser

When Andrew Strauss first arrived at Lord's as a naive 19-year-old student in 1996, nobody at Middlesex would have contemplated him becoming the club's most successful cricketer. MORE