The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 28 January 2015


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Sohail left traumatised by hotel “ghost”

Pakistan cricketer Haris Sohail was left “visibly shaken” after a ghostly encounter in a New Zealand hotel room. Sohail (right) ran away from what he described as “a supernatural presence” which shook his bed at the Rydges Latimer hotel in Christchurch, taking refuge in the room of a team coach.

Sohail appeared “shaken and feverish” and team manager Maveed Akram Cheeva tried to persuade him the fever may have caused a nightmare, but the player insisted his experience was supernatural. The hotel’s management says it knew of “no active ghost” on the premises.

Pakistan media reported that the all-rounder was so “traumatised” by the experience that he missed a warm-up match against a New Zealand President’s XI.

England bowler Stuart Broad switched rooms at London’s Langham Hotel last year after the lights and taps in his room came on of their own accord, while Australia’s Shane Watson had to share with a team-mate after he thought a ghost visited his room at Lumley Castle near Durham.

Knockout game is ideal for England

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace believes England’s Tri-Series ODI shoot-out against India on Friday is perfect preparation for next month’s World Cup. “The chance to get an advance taste of knockout cricket is ideal,” he said. “To have a must-win game is what the World Cup is about.” The winner will play Australia in the final. “It’s a great opportunity to play two of the best teams in the world,” added Farbrace.

Woods relives his dental anguish

Tiger Woods has explained how he came to have his teeth chipped in Hawaii this month. “I had my mask on, no-one knew who I was,” he said. “There are not a lot of brown dudes at ski races. I was looking down. Dude with a video camera stood up and turned and caught me on the mouth.”

Ghana go through after late rescue act

Ghana and Algeria last night became the latest sides to qualify for the last eight of the African Cup of Nations as Group C concluded. Ghana scored twice in the final 20 minutes, through John Boye and Andre Ayew, to beat South Africa 2-1 and take top spot, while Algeria finished second after goals from Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez and Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb earned a 2-0 win over Senegal.

Sharapova thanks dad for pep-talk

Maria Sharapova says she appreciates the positive criticism she received from her father after her victory over Eugenie Bouchard in the last eight of the Australian Open. “He told me I was working harder than I had to – he’s absolutely right,” the Russian said. “Deep down, it’s encouraging to hear that because no one will tell you. I like coming off the court and hearing how it is. It’s what I appreciate.”