Opening day of second Ashes Test a washout; Joffra Archer receives debut cap

England's bowlers Jofra Archer, right and Jack Leach talks as they take part in training session at Lord's cricket ground in London, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. The second Ashes cricket Test will now start on Thursday. (AP)
Updated 14 August 2019

Opening day of second Ashes Test a washout; Joffra Archer receives debut cap

  • Archer will make his test debut when play gets underway
  • Australia lead the five-Test series 1-0

LORD'S, London: The opening day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s was abandoned because of rain on Wednesday, although it eased just long enough for England fast bowler Jofra Archer to receive his test cap in a ceremony in the middle of the field.
That indicated Archer will make his test debut when play gets underway. Archer will replace James Anderson, as England’s leading wicket-taker is still injured.
Australia were set to make at least one change to their fast bowling attack at the Home of Cricket, with James Pattinson rested and Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood brought into the tourists’ 12-man squad.
The rain even prevented the toss being held. The forecast is much better on Thursday. With the Test reduced to four days with time added on daily, the follow-on will be 150 runs.
Umpires were hoping to have a pitch inspection at 11 a.m. local time but were foiled by the rain and later set the toss for 3 p.m. before the rain returned again and covers were brought back on.
Australia lead the five-Test series 1-0 after a 251-run win at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

Updated 23 August 2019

Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

  • Paris club said to turn down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million plus Coutinho and Rakitic

PARIS: Neymar remains no closer to getting his desired move away from Paris Saint-Germain amid reports Thursday the French club have rejected an offer from Real Madrid of €100 million($111 million) plus players.

French sports daily L’Equipe said Real had offered cash plus Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, but PSG turned it down because “the overall value of the offer did not match their expectations.” 

Paris paid €222 million to sign Neymar from Barcelona two years ago and their sporting director Leonardo is understood to be determined to only sell the forward for a deal considered to be of the same value.

Real have spent the summer trying to offload Bale, while James is unwanted after returning from a loan at Bayern Munich and Navas is no longer the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Barcelona remain hopeful of bringing Neymar back to the Camp Nou, but Catalan daily Sport claims an attempt to sign the player on loan with an obligation to buy for €160 million at the end of the season has been firmly rejected in Paris.

Sport claims Barcelona feel “it is very clear that PSG are trying to prevent the Brazilian from returning to the Camp Nou in any scenario.” 

PSG had previously reportedly turned down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million  plus Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic. Coutinho has since joined Bayern on loan.

Juventus are also believed to have stated an interest in signing the 27-year-old, who has not featured in any of PSG’s matches so far this season having been frozen out amid the uncertainty over his future. The transfer window closes in France, Spain and Italy on Sept. 2, meaning time is fast running out for a deal to be done.

Watford loan Sweden winger Sema to Udinese

Watford winger Ken Sema has completed a season-long loan move to Udinese, the Serie A side confirmed on Thursday.

The six-times capped Sweden international only moved to Vicarage Road last summer from Ostersunds FK and made 22 appearances for the English club.

The 25-year-old's departure follows the arrival of Senegal international Ismaila Sarr to the Premier League outfit on a club record transfer of €35 million   ($38 million) from Rennes. The northeastern Italian club and Watford are both owned by the Pozzo family.

Udinese host AC Milan in their opening match of the Serie A season on Saturday.