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Irving Expected to Make Season Debut at Pacers




Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving plans to make his seasonal debut on Wednesday night against the Indiana Pacers, according to US reports.

Irving, who is unvaccinated against Covid-19, has re-joined the team on a part-time basis in a complicated scheduling web that involves US state protocol, with Wednesday’s trip to Indianapolis earmarked for his return to the court, according to The Athletic.

Unable to take part in home games due to New York’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates, the 29-year-old is expected to compete in most road contests – except against the New York Knicks and also the Toronto Raptors, due to Ontario regulations.

Image: The Nets originally determined that Irving would not feature until he could play in all games

The Nets originally determined that Irving would not feature until he could play in all games, but, with coronavirus cases and injuries stretching resources, the organisation changed their mind.

Led by NBA scoring leader and MVP favourite Kevin Durant, the Nets have held their own without Irving. They take the second-best record (23-11) in the Eastern Conference into Monday night’s game against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

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The Nets last month announced Irving’s return, but he was almost immediately placed into the league’s health and safety protocols, delaying his return to practice.

Irving cleared the protocols last Tuesday, so will have had a full week to work on his conditioning by the time Wednesday’s match-up with the Pacers arrives.

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Highlights of the Los Angeles Clippers clash with the Brooklyn Nets in Week 11 of the NBA

The seven-time All-Star played in 54 regular-season games for the Nets last term and averaged 26.9 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds.

In 582 career games (all starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2011-17), Boston Celtics (2017-19) and Nets, he has averages of 22.8 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds.

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Man City Women Sign Midfielder Blakstad From Rosenborg




Manchester City have signed midfielder Julie Blakstad from Rosenborg for an undisclosed fee on Women’s Super League Deadline Day.

The Norwegian international has joined City on a two-and-a-half-year deal and will wear the No 41 shirt for the remainder of the season.

The 20-year-old, who is a versatile talent capable of playing in multiple positions, scored 17 goals in 35 appearances for Rosenborg after joining them in 2020.

Blakstad’s move to City will see her play outside of her homeland for the first time having starred for Ottestad, FL Fart and most recently Rosenborg.

She has represented Norway at Under-15, U16, U17, U19 and U23 level before being handed her debut for the senior side against Wales in October 2020.

Image: Blakstad will wear the No 41 shirt at Manchester City

Blakstad said in a club statement: “It’s amazing to be a Manchester City player and I can’t wait to get started.

“Everybody has been amazing so far, and I’m so excited to meet my team-mates. At this point in my career, it’s important to take a new step to develop myself further and I believe this is the best place for me to do that.

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“You only have to look at the club – the facilities, the staff and the players all have incredible dedication to achieve something big and I really want to be a part of that.”

City head coach Gareth Taylor added: “We’re delighted to welcome Julie to Manchester City.

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Highlights of the WSL match between Man City and Arsenal

“At just 20 years old, she’s already proven what a talent she is for both club and country and she’s a player who will fit perfectly into our squad and ethos here at City.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with her over the coming years – she is an incredibly ambitious young player and we’re excited to help her develop and grow here in England.”

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The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Manchester Derby, Liverpool Vs Man Utd Live on Sky Sports in March




The Manchester derby plus Liverpool vs Man Utd are among the Premier League fixtures to be shown live on Sky Sports in March.

Ralf Rangnick will take his side to the Etihad on Sunday 6 March, with kick-off at 4.30pm. Later in the month, Man Utd will take on Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday 20 March, as United face a vital month in their push for a top-four finish.

West Ham’s fixture against Wolves will kick off the latest round of live fixtures on Sunday 27 February, with kick-off at 2pm. The Hammers will be back on Sky Sports the following weekend on Saturday March 5 as they travel to Liverpool.

That weekend’s Super Sunday includes the Manchester derby, which will be preceded by Arsenal’s trip to Watford at 2pm. There is also a mouth-watering Monday Night Football on Monday 7 March too as Tottenham host Everton.

Antonio Conte’s side will again be live on Sky Sports on Saturday 12 March when they travel to Old Trafford, with Chelsea vs Newcastle and Arsenal vs Leicester on Super Sunday the following day. Monday Night Football will see the Sky Sports cameras at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace face Man City on Monday 14 March.

Friday Night Football returns on Friday 18 March as Wolves host Leeds, with Burnley hosting Southampton on Saturday Night Football the following day.

Another exciting weekend of football is rounded off on Sunday 20 March as Tottenham host West Ham in a London derby before Liverpool’s showdown against Man Utd at 4.30pm.

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Confirmed Premier League fixtures live on Sky Sports

Saturday February 12: Norwich City vs Manchester City, kick-off 5.30pm

Sunday February 13: Newcastle vs Aston Villa, kick-off 2pm

Sunday February 13: Leicester vs West Ham, kick-off 4.30pm

Tuesday January 11: Everton vs Leicester, kick-off 8pm

Saturday February 19: Man City vs Tottenham, kick-off 5.30pm

Sunday February 20: Leeds vs Man Utd, kick-off 2pm

Sunday February 20: Wolves vs Leicester, kick-off 4.30pm

Friday February 25: Southampton vs Norwich, kick-off 8pm

Saturday February 26: Everton vs Man City, kick-off 5.30pm

New fixtures announced:

Sunday February 27: West Ham vs Wolves, kick-off 2pm

Saturday March 5: Liverpool vs West Ham, kick-off 5.30pm

Sunday March 6: Watford vs Arsenal, kick-off 2pm

Sunday March 6: Man City vs Man Utd, kick-off 4.30pm

Monday March 7: Tottenham vs Everton, kick-off 8pm

Saturday March 12: Man Utd vs Tottenham, kick-off 5.30pm

Sunday March 13: Chelsea vs Newcastle, kick-off 2pm

Sunday March 13: Arsenal vs Leicester, kick-off 4.30pm

Monday March 14: Crystal Palace vs Man City, kick-off 8pm

Friday March 18: Wolves vs Leeds, kick-off 8pm*

Saturday March 19: Burnley vs Southampton, kick-off 5.30pm*

Sunday March 20: Tottenham vs West Ham, kick-off 2pm*

Sunday March 20: Liverpool vs Man Utd, kick-off 4.30pm*

*subject to FA Cup sixth-round participation

Your club’s Premier League fixture list

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A round-up of all the Premier League matches from matchweek 23

Arsenal fixtures

Aston Villa fixtures

Brentford fixtures

Brighton fixtures

Burnley fixtures

Chelsea fixtures

Crystal Palace fixtures

Everton fixtures

Leeds fixtures

Leicester fixtures

Liverpool fixtures

Man City fixtures

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Newcastle fixtures

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Southampton fixtures

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Watford fixtures

West Ham fixtures

Wolves fixtures

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Key dates for the 2021/22 season

The 2021/22 Premier League season will end on May 22, 2022, with all 10 games kicking off at the same time.

2021/22 EFL season: Next season’s League One campaign will finish on the weekend of April 30 2022, with League Two and the Championship on one of May 7 and May 8 respectively.

The League One play-off final will then be held on Saturday, May 21, the League Two play-off final on Saturday, May 28, and the Championship play-off final on Sunday, May 29.

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Sixers Into BBL Final After Dramatic and Controversial Last Over




Hayden Kerr hit a brilliant unbeaten 98 but controversy marred the end of Sydney Sixers’ thrilling four-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League Challenger; Sixers replaced the injured Jordan Silk for the last ball but Kerr hit it for four to seal a spot in Friday’s final

By Sam Drury

Last Updated: 26/01/22 4:19pm

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Hayden Kerr hit an unbeaten 98 as the Sydney Sixers beat the Adelaide Strikers to reach the BBL final

Hayden Kerr hit an unbeaten 98 as the Sydney Sixers beat the Adelaide Strikers to reach the BBL final

Hayden Kerr scored a blistering 98 not out from 58 balls as Sydney Sixers booked their place in the Big Bash League final with a thrilling and controversial four-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers in the Challenger.

Set 168 to win, the Sixers needed to go at more than 11 an over for the last five overs of their chase and even after a match-altering 55-run stand between Kerr and Sean Abbott (41 from 20 balls), they required 12 runs from the last at the SCG.

They proceeded to lose wickets from the next two balls with Jordan Silk sent in at No 8 despite being burdened by a hamstring injury, he got off strike with a single before Kerr thumped the next ball for six and the easy two that followed left the Sixers needing two to win from the last delivery.

It was at that stage that the Sixers, much to the Strikers’ displeasure, called for Silk to retire hurt to allow them a healthy runner at the non-striker’s end. No rules were broken but it could be argued that it went against the spirit of the game.

Ultimately, it proved somewhat incidental as Kerr whipped the last ball through midwicket for four, after a fumble in the deep, to send the Sixers into the final where they will meet Perth Scorchers on Friday.

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There was last-ball controversy after the Sixers exploited a rule loophole that allowed them to sub out an injured batter. But was it in the spirit of the game?

There was last-ball controversy after the Sixers exploited a rule loophole that allowed them to sub out an injured batter. But was it in the spirit of the game?

The drama for the Sydney franchise started before the game even began with opener Josh Philippe ruled out late on after testing positive for Covid-19, while, with only 12 players available and a second attempt to get Steve Smith back into the side blocked by the BBL, assistant coach Jay Lenton was drafted in to keep wicket nearly two years on from his last competitive game.

Having cobbled together an XI, the Sixers won the toss and asked Adelaide to bat first. Veteran spinner Steve O’Keefe (1-21) removed Alex Carey (1) in the first over and Abbott then got rid of Matthew Short (6) and Travis Head (3) inside the powerplay to leave the Strikers 21-3.

Englishman Ian Cockbain (48 from 42) and Jonathan Wells (62no from 47) rescued the innings with a stand of 83 before the latter added an unbroken 63 with Matt Renshaw (36no from 20) to take the Strikers up to 167-4.

All-rounder Kerr was promoted to open in Philippe’s absence and was the driving force through the first three-quarters of the innings as the rest of the top order struggled to get going.

Abbott came in at No 6 with the Sixers needing 67 from 35 balls and, with Kerr showing signs of tiredness, took on the mantle as he smashed two fours and two sixes to keep his side in the game.

Kerr thumped the last ball of the match for four to seal a thrilling win for the Sixers

He was dismissed from the first ball of the last over by Harry Conway (2-37), Ben Dwarshuis was then run out without facing a ball as he came back for a second to keep Kerr on strike.

Kerr held his nerve with 10 needed from three balls, heaving a six over cow corner before managing to ignore the controversy that proceeded the last delivery to hit the winning runs and spark wild celebrations in front of a jubilant home crows.

Watch the Big Bash League final between Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers from 7.30am, Friday on Sky Sports Cricket.

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