It's time for troubled scion Brian France to let Nascar go

Nascar’s CEO always came off like he wanted no part of the family trade. As the season winds down, they’d be better off without himBrian France did not ask to be born into stock car racing’s first family. He did not ask to be the face of America’s most anachronistic sport. He did not ask for the mission of making Nascar great again. No, this is a life that holds him in thrall: it is not the path that he chose.Or at least that’s what the 56-year-old CEO and chairman of Nascar would have you believe, ever since his arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and illegal possession of a controlled substance back in August. The affair has hung over what has otherwise been a historic Nascar season (three drivers have combined for 20 of 35 wins). As police in New York’s Sag Harbor tell it they pulled over France for blowing through a stop sign and found him to be in an impaired state. It is alleged his blood-alcohol level returned a reading of 0.18, more than twice the New York state limit. An on-the-spot search dredged up five oxycodone pills. It was enough to land France in jail for the night. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

The Spin | England reaping the benefits of Lions tours that turn tyros into Test players

Four of England’s winning Test team in Galle were on a successful Lions tour to Sri Lanka two years ago and this is one part of ECB planning that should be praisedAs the projected costs of The Hundred mount, tripling from the original estimate of £13m up to £40m – and counting – budgets are being slashed at ECB Towers. Gone is Andrew Strauss’s pet North-South series, gone is the not-so-mourned Pace Programme, gone are the Overseas Placements that so benefited Ollie Pope and Mason Crane in consecutive winters in Sydney.But still hanging on, whether by thread or rope, is the Lions Programme, perhaps English cricket’s most secret and deadly weapon. The first part of this winter’s tour starts on Sunday against Pakistan A, with a four-day match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Five one day and two Twenty20 games follow over the next three weeks, ricocheting between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Pope has been dispatched from the main England tour to get more match practice than he would twiddling his thumbs on the sidelines in Sri Lanka. Then, after Christmas, the Lions head to India. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

ATP Finals: Alexander Zverev beats John Isner to set up Roger Federer semi-final

Germany's Alexander Zverev clinches his place in the ATP Finals semi-finals with a straight-set win which eliminates John Isner.

16-11-2018

Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes the ATP World Tour Finals, the ICC Women's World Twenty20 and the home nations' football internationals.

16-11-2018

Japan plot fast route to ‘emotionally smash’ Eddie Jones’s England

• Masakatsu Nishikawa returns fire at former coach • ‘Sometimes size doesn’t work for you,’ says Jamie JosephIf you are looking for a little hint of Eddie Jones’s lingering influence on Japanese rugby, have a read of what the flanker Masakatsu Nishikawa had to say about the England pack he will be playing against on Saturday.Nishikawa said he was not too familiar with the two rookie back-rowers, Mark Wilson and Zach Mercer, but it did not matter because “we just need to smash them whoever is on the field”. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

'I want to play better': is 2018 the start of Tom Brady's NFL decline?

The New England Patriots star is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league but, at 41, there are signs he may be slipping from his pedestalIt’s time for that biennial tradition of looking at a couple of bad Tom Brady performances and wondering if this is the beginning of the end for the man, the Patriots dynasty and possibly civilization itself.Hyperbole typically surrounds bad Brady outings: after all, they’re so infrequent, we have to get our kicks in. There is something noticeably different this time, though. It’s not just his age (41), it’s the manner of the performances. It’s not as visceral as the night in Kansas City back in 2014 when Brady was picked off twice and replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo in a 41-14 loss, but something feels off. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...

16-11-2018

VAR in the Premier League: How Charlie Austin MIGHT react

BBC Sport imagines how Southampton striker Charlie Austin might react to the news that VAR will be used in the Premier League from next season.

16-11-2018

Magnus Carlsen v Fabiano Caruana: World Chess Championship, Game 6 – live!

Carlsen and Caruana meet in Game 6 of championship matchCarlsen thwarts Game 5 ambush in draw (move-by-move report)Best-of-12-games match deadlocked at 2½-all after five drawsTweet Bryan at @BryanAGraham or email him 3.53pm GMT Caruana responds with 14. ... Nb6 and Carlsen has a long think. He’s been on the clock for 12 minutes and counting. Here’s a look at the board.This expression from @MagnusCarlsen looks familiar... #CarlsenCaruana pic.twitter.com/VcAsjPG7OQ 3.42pm GMT A few more moves as both guys play with pace early: 10. Na3 Ne6 11. f3 N4c5 12. d4 Nd7 13. c3 c6 14. Nf4. Carlsen, thanks to the 30-second increment for each move, has more time than he started with, yet the significant advantage the supercomputer gave the Norwegian champion when he initiated the queen trade (8. Nxe7) appears to be gone now. That Carlsen is playing directly to Caruana’s strength during the first leg of his double white is a fascinating psychological salvo. Says Carlsen’s father Henrik on Norwegian TV: “Magnus feels that Caruana is playing in a way that makes him comfortable. He is in no hurry to score yet.” Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Cricketers risk being caught out in quest for life beyond the boundary | Andy Bull

Pally dressing-room habits prove hard to undo for some of those hoping to forge new careers outside the sportIt’s a long way from Burton upon Trent to Galle and in the Hilton at St George’s Park last Thursday you could feel every yard of the gap. Away in Sri Lanka, England had just declared their second innings and were now pressing on towards victory in the first Test. Back in the Midlands, a couple of dozen of their county colleagues were in the Hilton’s Howard Wilkinson suite, listening to a presentation about how to get ahead in sustainable investment. Earlier that morning, they had sat through a talk on how improve their networking and presentation techniques, and later that day they had another scheduled how to build a LinkedIn profile. Outside, the rain beat against the windows. Related: Ben Stokes to bat at three as England look to win series in Kandy Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

16-11-2018

$100 to not see games? The Warriors' 'In the Building' pass is Silicon Valley in ticket form

Golden State games will be sold out for the foreseeable future, but they’ve discovered a new way to sell the experience: offering fans passes that don’t include a view of the courtThey say things are expensive in the Bay Area, but this is officially out of hand. The Golden State Warriors are now charging $100 for the privilege to not actually attend games. OK, technically you can watch the court with the team’s new “In the Building Pass”, but only from the television sets in the club areas at Oracle Arena. In the long line of Silicon Valley “innovations” that are just expensive variations on things that already exist, the Warriors have essentially reinvented the concept of “going to a sports bar”.Here’s how the “offer” works: fans get the opportunity to pay $100 for the ability to get into the arena for every home game. That’s basically all they get. They do not get a seat and they don’t even get a chance to see the game in person. Instead they can watch the action unfold on the various televisions at Oracle and, if they want, enjoy some ridiculously priced food and drink at the various bars and restaurants within. Yes, those who have a (non-transferable) pass are eligible for promotional giveaways. No, the offer doesn’t extend to the postseason. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Premier League to introduce VAR but clubs reject overseas quota cut

• VAR to be implemented from next season• Widespread opposition to plans to cut overseas playersThe Premier League has finally agreed in principle to introduce video assistant referees next season but discussions over increasing homegrown quotas looks set to continue after clubs indicated they were unwilling to reduce the number of foreign players in the event of any Brexit deal.Having opted to extend VAR trials in April, clubs were provided with an update at the shareholders’ meeting on Thursday and have decided to proceed. They will formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa to use VAR next season. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Anna Gasser makes history as first female snowboarder to land triple cork – video

Olympic champion Anna Gasser has written another chapter in her snowboard career after becoming the first woman to land a cab triple cork. The 27-year-old pulled off the jump on her first attempt at the Stubai Glacier in Austria.The cab triple 1260 involves taking off in the switch position with your 'wrong' foot forward, followed by three and a half rotations in the air, and then landing in the forward position. The Austrian also made history in 2013 with a cab double cork 900 kicker, and 2015 when she became the first woman to land a competition cab double underflip. She also claimed the gold medal in the Big Air competition at the Pyeongchang Games.Winter Olympics: hits and misses from Pyeongchang Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Which football teams have worn most kit combinations in a season? | The Knowledge

Plus: huge gaps between victories in the same competition, winning the same title with multiple teams, and loose dentures. Mail [email protected] or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“It appears that Fulham’s kit designer is having as bad a season as their defensive coach,” muses Richard Hilton. “Fulham have worn five different kit combinations in their first five away matches of the season (red/red; black/black; blue/blue; white/black; white/white). Is this a record?”It turns out Fulham’s kit designer still has a little more meddling to do, Richard. Here’s Chris Oakley. “I can confirm that they have some way to go yet! I’ve been creating some illustrations for Rochdale AFC’s official matchday programme, The Voice of Spotland, which show they had seven kits during the 1997-98 season. Two of them used elements of a kit worn two seasons before.” Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Wayne Rooney's record-breaking England career in numbers – video

Former England captain Wayne Rooney will bring down the curtain on his record-breaking international career with an honorary appearance against the USA on Thursday.The 33-year-old has been invited back into the national team squad to mark his achievements as the country’s all-time leading goalscorer and as the outfield player with the most capsFootball quiz: Wayne Rooney (on and off the field) Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Sports quiz of the week: Wayne Rooney, All Blacks and a generous fan

Who has 125 caps? Who coughed up? Who is being ripped off?Callum Wilson scored on his England debut on Thursday night, meaning he has one cap and one goal. Which of these players has the same international record?Carlton Palmer Rickie Lambert Francis JeffersMark Hateley Wayne Rooney finished his England career with 120 caps. Who is the only player with more?David Beckham Steven Gerrard Peter ShiltonBobby Moore Who will provide the voice of the Green Goblin in the French language version of the new Spider-Man film?Olivier GiroudThierry HenryMathieu BastareaudTyson FuryThe two best rugby teams in the world – New Zealand and Ireland – meet in Dublin on Saturday night. Ireland have only ever beaten the All Blacks once. Where? FranceAustraliaEnglandUSA Why did the FA suspend referee David McNamara for 21 days?He called a ball boy a “little dweeb” when he wouldn’t give back the ballHe laughed in the face of a player who missed a sitterHe lost his whistle so was forced to shout “STOP” to get the attention of the playersHe forgot to bring a coin for the toss so asked the two captains to play rock, paper, scissors insteadNew Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has managed some of Europe's biggest clubs in his career – including Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Inter, Valencia, Monaco and Chelsea – but he has only ever managed one national team. Which one? ItalyAustraliaGreeceSwitzerlandHow did Coalville Town supporter Damien Trown help the club this week?He ran on to the pitch wearing a full kit without the referee noticing and scored from a cornerHe went to their ground with his lawnmower after the manager had complained about the pitchHe ran on to the field and rugby tackled a streaker – his mumHe gave his replica shirt back to the club as they didn't have one big enough for their new signingThe Golden State Warriors have offered fans a new ticket that costs $100 a month. What is the only drawback for fans?They won’t have a seat or view of the basketball court They are in the singing section and have to pass an audition They have to pick up litter for 15 minutes after matchesThey have to live within a mile of the stadium to qualify for the ticket Which of these football teams has not lost a game in 2018? Borussia Dortmund Paris Saint-Germain The US women's teamEngland women's team Complete this sequence: Moscow, Samara, Kazan, New Jersey, Maryland, Riyadh, Jeddah, London …New YorkMilton KeynesColchesterBerlin1 and above.Oh dear, oh dear2 and above.Oh dear, oh dear3 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week4 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week5 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week6 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week7 and above.You're among the elite with that score8 and above.You are excelling in life9 and above.You're among the elite with that score0 and above.Oh dear10 and above.What a score. One to print out and keep. Or at least screengrab Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Watch: Dominic Thiem's dominant display over Kei Nishikori

Watch the best shots from Dominic Thiem's convincing win over Kei Nishikori at the ATP Finals in London.

16-11-2018