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The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 19 September 2012


Pietersen left out of England squad for India tour

Despite extensive discussions with ECB management, Kevin Pietersen was yesterday left out of England's Test squad for the winter tour to India. Two uncapped batsmen, Nick Compton – grandson of former England great Denis – and Joe Root, were named as replacements, but it was the omission of Pietersen, above, that took the attention as England prepared for the start of the defence of their World Twenty20 crown in Sri Lanka.

"Both ECB and England team management have had meetings with Kevin Pietersen to address the issues," the England Cricket managing director, Hugh Morris, said. "These discussions remain private and confidential and, as there are issues still to be resolved, Kevin has not been considered for selection." MORE

Ronaldo returns to haunt brave City

Two goals in the final four minutes helped Real Madrid rescue the points with a 3-2 win over Manchester City at the Bernabeu last night. Edin Dzeko and Aleksandr Kolarov twice put City ahead, but Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo replied for Real.

Arsenal open with victory in France

Early goals from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho helped Arsenal open their campaign with a victory at Montpellier, Arsène Wenger's side having to come from behind for a 2-1 win. The hosts had gone ahead after nine minutes, Younes Belhanda scoring from the spot.

Leeds woes go on as Rovers stay top

Leeds United went down to their third defeat in five league matches, losing 3-2 at home to Hull City last night. Elsewhere, Blackburn Rovers retained their place at the top of the table with a 2-1 victory over Barnsley, Derby beat Charlton 3-2 and Brighton won 1-0 at Watford.

Wright keen to make his own mark

Luke Wright has urged caution among those expecting to see him make the same mark as Kevin Pietersen. "I'd quite like to replicate that," he said of KP's exploits in the 2010 event. "[But] I don't think it's fair to put myself up against KP, especially in this tournament." MORE

Chelsea ready for 'impossible' task

Chelsea begin the defence of their Champions League title against Juventus, with Roberto Di Matteo, the manager, optimistic. "It has proven so far impossible to win twice," he said. "It will be difficult but we will try to do the impossible." MORE

Barker gets Britain up and running

Elinor Barker took Great Britain's first medal of the World Championships yesterday, winning the junior time trial. "I put a lot of pressure on myself," the 18-year-old said after her victory. "I've pretty much dedicated the last year to this." MORE

Foden adds to England problems

England's injury worries ahead of the autumn internationals have worsened after Ben Foden suffered "significant" ankle ligament damage. Charlie Sharples and Rob Webber are also injured, while Ben Youngs and Tom Croft are short of fitness. MORE

Coach impressed by pluck of Irish

The Irish bowling coach, Craig McDermott, is optimistic the country can surprise Australia. "It is an interesting mix of players," the 47-year-old said ahead of today's Group B match. "It has come a long way in the last 15 or 20 years." MORE

British look for Melbourne magic

The Melbourne Cup is being increasingly monopolised by European raiders but has also become a maddening quest for British-based trainers. Luca Cumani is one of the more deserving tips for victory. MORE

Sri Lankan stroll

Hosts Sri Lanka opened the tournament in devastating fashion, thrashing Zimbabwe by 82 runs in Group C in Hambantota. Ajantha Mendis, left, took a record six wickets for just eight runs. MORE