The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 17 December 2014


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The Independent Online

Cook confident of finding right recipe

England captain Alastair Cook remains confident of his side’s chances in next year’s World Cup, despite his side ending their one-day tour of Sri Lanka with an 87-run defeat in Colombo for a 5-2 series loss. “I think we can surprise people,” he said, surprisingly. “We’re going to have to play a whole lot better than here, but there is a huge amount of talent in the squad. There’s no reason why we can’t.”

Hansen to remain with All Blacks

Steve Hansen will remain as coach of world champions New Zealand for a further three years after agreeing a contract extension. “After getting the support of family and team personnel, I asked myself if I still had the hunger and desire to continue,” the 55-year-old, who took the job in 2011, said. “The decision to continue became a no-brainer; there is no better job in world rugby.”

Kenyan hall of shame lengthens

Two more Kenyan runners have been handed two-year suspensions after testing positive for drugs, further tarnishing the country’s reputation in the sport. Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo both tested positive for norandrosterone, adding to the eight other Kenyans currently banned. Five other unnamed athletes will answer issues relating to doping cases.

Red Bull’s stolen trophies found in lake

A third of Red Bull’s trophies stolen in a heist have been found – in a lake near Sandhurst, Berkshire.

The Formula One team had around 60 trophies stolen from their Milton Keynes base after a 4x4 smashed through the front door 11 days ago, which, team principal Christian Horner said left employees “devastated”.

The stolen trophies did not include Sebastien Vettel’s  drivers championship prizes or any constructors championship awards, as they were not at the factory.

And, according to Horner, the thieves clearly saw that the ones that they had managed to get their hands on were not worth very much. Many recovered from the lake 65 miles south of the Red Bull base were damaged.

Horner said: “The fact that the trophies were discarded in a lake and damaged shows how senseless this crime was.

“While the trophies mean an enormous amount to the team, their intrinsic value is low – and the extent of the damage that was caused to the factory by the offenders during the break-in was significant.”

Pardew: We have scent of Wembley

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew  feels the potential of a final trip to Wembley will inspire his side as they take on Tottenham in the League Cup quarter-final. “We are going to try and take this opportunity,” he said. “It’s about grasping it. There is extra meaning. You just sense it.”