The Sports Matrix: Thursday 26 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Strauss: Today is not a homecoming

England start their Test series against Sri Lanka today in Cardiff, where captain Andrew Strauss said they must move on from their Ashes win. “It is not a homecoming,” he said. “This is a new cycle in a way. It is the start of a busy and difficult summer.” MORE

Warne leads tributes to Jenner

Shane Warne has led tributes to his former coach and spin mentor Terry Jenner, who died yesterday at the age of 66. “Very sad day since hearing the news of my great friend,” Warne said of the former Australia bowler. “He was an amazing man.” MORE

Button hopes tyre change pays off

Jenson Button hopes a change of tyres can improve McLaren’s fortunes in this weekend’s Monaco GP. “We haven’t run the supersoft [tyres] for a long time,” Button said. “You are going to have to think on your feet.” MORE

Defoe pulls out to add to striker woes

Jermain Defoe last night withdrew from the England squad for next week’s European Championship qualifier with Switzerland, further decreasing Fabio Capello’s striking options. Wayne Rooney is suspended, while Andy Carroll is short of match fitness. MORE

Home favourites find feet on clay

Gaël Monfils, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all reached the third round at Roland Garros yesterday as France awaits a first male Grand Slam champion in 28 years. The 18th seed, Gilles Simon, faces compatriot Jérémy Chardy today. MORE

Guardiola returns to scene of triumph

As Pep Guardiola prepares his Barcelona side to face Manchester United in Saturday’s Champions League final at Wembley, he makes a return to the scene of the Catalan club’s 1992 triumph, when, as a 21-year-old, he featured against Sampdoria. MORE

Khan shouts from English rooftops

Defending champion Simon Khan believes the English game should revel in having two players top of the world rankings ahead of the PGA Championship. “We should be shouting from the rooftops,” he said. “When is it ever going to happen again?” MORE

Park desperate for happier memories

Park Ji-sung said it would be the “best moment” of his career if he played in the Champions League final and Manchester United won. Park was dropped for the 2008 final, which he described as “a very hard time”, and played on the losing side in 2009. MORE

Sparse crowd sees Scotland victory

A crowd of just 6,036 turned up at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium to watch Scotland overturn a half-time deficit to beat Wales 3-1 in the Nations Cup. Rob Earnshaw gave Wales the lead before replies from James Morrison, Kenny Miller and Christophe Berra.

Opinion: James Lawton

Fifa has created its own unassailable empire and leading nations are unlikely to rebel and cut themselves off from World Cup revenue streams. Yet this hazard is rapidly becoming not so much a choice but a moral imperative. MORE

Bin Hammam and Warner accused in day of Fifa drama

In an unprecedented day of Fifa infighting yesterday, president Sepp Blatter announced a corruption investigation into his presidential election rival Mohamed bin Hammam and Concacaf president Jack Warner. Blatter’s motivations are unclear – Warner is a key ally who has consistently delivered the Concacaf vote to the current president. The particular allegations were made by Chuck Blazer, the American member of the executive committee and, previously, a Warner ally. Blazer alleged that Warner and Bin Hammam had organised bribes in favour of votes, which they deny. If Bin Hammam were to be found guilty there would be serious implications for Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Ferdinand: Pique better off at Barça

Rio Ferdinand does not think Gerard Pique would have done as well had he not left Manchester United for Barcelona: “If you asked him if he could have been where he is now if he had been playing for United, he would probably have said, ‘I don’t know’.”

Morrison assault charge dropped

Manchester United’s Ravel Morrison will undergo domestic violence counselling after an assault charge was dropped when his girlfriend refused to testify. There was no assault case for him to answer, but he was fined £600 for criminal damage.