The Sports Matrix: Thursday 6 October 2011

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The Independent Online

Butt and Asif trial starts in London

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and team-mate Mohammad Asif were yesterday accused of being “willing participants” in a “depressing tale of rampant corruption” as their trial for spot-fixing began at Southwark Crown Court. MORE

Pryce fit for Saints’ Grand Final squad

Leon Pryce is named in the squad for St Helens’ Super League Grand Final against Leeds on Saturday, despite playing only eight times this season. Pryce, who leaves for Catalan Dragons after the match, will not start but may be among the substitutes. MORE

Woods secures deal with Rolex

Tiger Woods yesterday landed his first major sponsorship deal since his sex scandal two years ago, signing a deal with Rolex. Forbes magazine also kept the former world No 1 at the top of its “sports brand” standings. MORE

Patel pleased with fitness progress

Samit Patel, back in the England ODI squad for the tour of India, believes that he has made progress in his fitness battle. “I’ve lost a bit of weight and, attitude-wise, training is the big one for the ECB and England, the willingness to do thework.” MORE

Ellis bemused by his France team

France’s defence coach Dave Ellis admits he does not know what to expect from his side in Saturday’s quarter-final with England: “Will the players be in the basement or the penthouse? Who can tell? They move from one to the other so quickly.” MORE

Parker revels in England spotlight

Scott Parker is delighted to be in the England side after not making last year’s World Cup squad: “I thought it was going to be pretty difficult to get back in. I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunity. Thankfully, it has turned around. I got my chance.” MORE

Palmer: French mentally fragile

Tom Palmer thinks that England should exploit France’s mental fragility. “If things don’t go their way they do make quite a lot out of it,” he said of the French. “In my first season in France [with Stade Français], we weren’t particularly mentally strong.” MORE

Tribute: Angus Fraser

With his graceful, gradually accelerating run-up and beautiful high action, it was Graham Dilley whom I used to try to imitate as a child. It is extremely sad that such a wonderful talent and decent man is no longer with us. MORE

Adviser defends Tevez over ‘refusal to play’ for City

Kia Joorabchian yesterday defended Carlos Tevez, the striker whom he advises, for his alleged refusal to play in Munich last week. “Carlos did not refuse to play,” Joorabchian said at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge, before adding somewhat confusingly: “what he did was no worse than Cesc Fabregas, Luka Modric and Samir Nasri refusing to play.” Joorabchian also risked increasing the tension with Manchester City by suggesting that other managers might have dealt with Tevez better than Roberto Mancini has: “Roberto has his style of management. He is very direct and totally different to, let’s say, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger or Carlo Ancelotti. Carlos feels that he has been judged and condemned before the case has really been looked into.” The events of the Allianz Arena, Joorabchian suggested, were less clear than they first appeared. “What happened on the bench in Munich is a lot of confusion, as shown in the television footage, which shows a totally different light,” he added. MORE

Carragher: Foreign coaches unfair

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said yesterday that England’s decision to hire foreign managers is “a form of cheating”. “If your manager’s not good enough, that’s your country's fault,” he said of the failure to develop good coaches. MORE

Fit-again Hook not in Wales team

Warren Gatland has not included James Hook in his Wales team for Saturday’s quarter-final with Ireland. Hook has recovered from a shoulder injury but Gatland has chosen Leigh Halfpenny at full-back. Shane Williams and Dan Lydiate both return. MORE