The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 5 June 2012


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The Independent Online

Hodgson cancels sponsor event to ensure players rest

Roy Hodgson told five of his England squad to cancel a proposed Nike event in London yesterday, so that they could rest ahead of their departure to Poland.

James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Joleon Lescott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott had all been due to appear in London on behalf of Nike, but they were told by Hodgson after Saturday's defeat of Belgium that they could not.

Hodgson is keen that his England players use their time before today's lunchtime meet-up at the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire to rest rather than fulfilling sponsors' commitments. MORE

Walcott: Rooney may not get a game

Theo Walcott has said Wayne Rooney may not get back into the England team when he returns from his ban against Ukraine: "It's not a hard task for anyone who comes into Wayne's role. You never know, we might keep Wayne out of the team if we do well." MORE

Murray fights his way into last eight

Andy Murray will play the sixth seed David Ferrer, yet to drop a set in the tournament, in the French Open quarter-finals tomorrow after beating Richard Gasquet in four sets last night. Murray had a back injury and lost the first set before fighting back to win 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. MORE

Exit of champion Li lets in Sharapova

Li Na, winner 12 months ago and the only former champion remaining in the draw, exited the tournament at the fourth-round stage. The 30-year-old was beaten 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 by Yaroslav Shvedova, leaving the draw open for Maria Sharapova, who yesterday overcame Klara Zakopalova. MORE

ECB secures £100m overseas TV deal

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced a £100m seven-year deal for the overseas rights to domestic international matches yesterday. ESPN Star Sports now have exclusive rights for Asia, the Middle East and Africa from 2013 to 2019, making up over 300 days of cricket. MORE

Woods back to best ahead of US Open

Tiger Woods' ominous return to form puts him into contention for next week's US Open. His victory at the Memorial included a miracle shot at the 16th which drew admiring comments from Jack Nicklaus and the American heads to San Francisco ranked fourth in the world. MORE

South Africa name De Villiers captain

Jean de Villiers has been named captain for South Africa's Test series against England this month. "Jean's leadership qualities are well established," coach Heyneke Meyer said. "He has always impressed me on and off the field." The opening Test takes place in Durban this Saturday. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Roy Hodgson should not have run from the latest questions about the exclusion of Rio Ferdinand, because he had an argument to make about his fitness. Hodgson should have laid it all on the line and out in the open. MORE