ROUND-UP: Burns out; Stern passes on; Stella promoted; Pogba injured; and Sodhi’s role
International Round-Up: Injured Rory Burns out of South Africa series; Former NBA Commissioner dies at 77; Andreas Stella promoted in McLaren restructure; Paul Pogba to have operation on ankle; and Ish Sodhi is Rajasthan’s spin consultant, operations executive
CRICKET: Injured Rory Burns out of South Africa series
England opener Rory Burns has been ruled out of the tour of South Africa after damaging his left ankle playing football during practice. The 29-year-old, England’s top scorer in the first Test last week, sustained ligament damage and will return home.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer did not train on Thursday because of soreness in his right elbow and has also had a scan. England, 1-0 down in the four-Test series, will confirm their team for Friday’s second Test in the morning.
Paceman Mark Wood is yet to return to match fitness, while spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out through illness. Batsman Dom Sibley is expected to be fit after coming down with the sickness bug that has swept through the squad.
BASKETBALL: Former NBA Commissioner dies at 77
David Stern, the former commissioner of the US National Basketball Association (NBA), has died at the age of 77. He had been in a serious condition after suffering a brain haemorrhage in December.
Stern was the NBA’s longest-serving commissioner, holding the job for 30 years until retiring in February 2014.
He is credited with massively increasing the sport’s revenues and popularity at home and abroad during his tenure.
“Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation,” his successor, Adam Silver, said in a statement.
“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.”
F1: Andreas Stella promoted in McLaren restructure
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has completed the leadership structure he hopes will take the team back to the front of Formula 1.
The German has promoted Italian Andrea Stella to racing director from his former role of performance director.
Stella, who joined McLaren from Ferrari at the end of 2014, will now be head of all trackside operations, including engineering and race strategy. It creates a three-pronged management structure under Seidl as team boss.
Technical director James Key, recruited before Seidl came on board, leads technical and design function.
He works alongside Stella and production director Piers Thynne, who was promoted in July.
FOOTBALL: Paul Pogba to have operation on ankle
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba needs an operation on an ankle injury and is set to be out for “three or four weeks”, says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Pogba was not in the United squad for the New Year’s Day defeat at Arsenal.
The France midfielder, 26, only made his comeback last month from an ankle problem that had kept him out since the end of September.
“We’ve had scans and it’s nothing major, but it’s something that has to be dealt with,” said Solskjaer.
“He’s been advised to do it [the operation] as soon as and we will probably do it as soon as, so he will be out for three or four weeks.
“It’s a big blow because Paul is out now and Scott [McTominay] is also injured – he is out for a few months.
CRICKET: Ish Sodhi is Rajasthan’s spin consultant, operations executive
Ish Sodhi, the New Zealand leg-spinner, is set to take on a new role for Rajasthan Royals. After being released earlier this year following a two-year stint, the 27-year old will rejoin as spin consultant and operations executive.
“Ish was very keen with the managerial side of things, and was particularly interested in how things work behind the scenes, so we thought while we bring him on board in an operational capacity, he can also double-up on the coaching front by assisting our spin coach Sairaj Bahutule,” a Royals official told ESPNcricinfo.
An active cricketer seeking to broaden his horizons into the business operations of a franchise, Sodhi could be a pathbreaker of sorts. But such an association isn’t entirely new for the Royals, who earlier had Pravin Tambe in their roster.
The Mumbai leg-spinner was once a venue manager at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi, Mumbai. He also served as liaison officer for Deccan Chargers at the same venue in 2010. In 2013, he was part of the Royals squad despite not having played a single game of top-flight cricket.