England coach Matthew Mott says "the door is always open" for Ben Stokes to reverse his ODI retirement and play at the Cricket World Cup later this year.

All-rounder Stokes brought an end to his 50-over international career in July because of an "unsustainable" schedule alongside his Test captaincy.

However, the 31-year-old recently suggested he may potentially consider representing England at the World Cup in Pakistan in October and November.

Mott is hopeful that will be the case and will not rush Stokes – the man of the match when England beat New Zealand in the 2019 final – into making a decision.

"The door is always open for a player of that quality but we are also very aware that his main focus is red ball cricket as the captain," he told reporters. 

"We respect that and when he's ready to chat, we'll do that."

Asked if there will be a cut-off point for Stokes to decide what he wants to do, Mott said: "I've had some good discussions with Jos [Buttler] and Rob Key on this.

"Players are playing a lot of franchise cricket, coming in and out at different times, so we need to keep a really flexible, open mind to players. 

"When we sit down to pick that 15 for the World Cup, we want to pick the best players possible."

Mott was speaking ahead of England's three-match ODI series against South Africa, which begins in Bloemfontein on Friday.

Stokes may not be present, but fast bowler Jofra Archer is in line for his first international appearance since March 2021 after recovering from a series of injury setbacks.

"Having watched him from a distance, I think he's one of the most exciting things to have happened in cricket for the last decade. It will be great to have him," Mott said.

"He's full throttle, fast and brings such energy. He is one of those guys that if you are there sitting in the pub and he's bowling, you're watching. That's a big thing to have.

"Everyone here will get a lift around bowlers like him. He's spent a lot of time out and I know he's absolutely frothing to play."

Carl Cheffers will lead the team of officials for Super Bowl LVII.

Cheffers is set to take charge of his third Super Bowl, having also overseen the 2016 and 2020 season finales.

Side judge Eugene Hall and back judge Dino Paganelli joined Cheffers in officiating the latter of those Super Bowls. The duo will also be overseeing their third such game.

Jeff Bergman, the line judge, previously officiated in the 2018 Super Bowl, having first officiated in the 1996 event.

Umpire Roy Ellison will also be partaking in his third Super Bowl.

Down judge Jerod Phillips, field judge John Jenkins and Mark Butterworth, the replay official, are all set to make their Super Bowl debuts.

The Kansas City Chiefs are vying with the Cincinnati Bengals for a place in the showpiece match from the AFC. In the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers will go up against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cheffers has history when it comes to Kansas City. In the Super Bowl two years ago, he awarded eight penalties and enforced 95 yards on the Chiefs in the first half, which were both NFL records for a Super Bowl.

Victoria Azarenka sympathised with Novak Djokovic as she stated tennis players are "not villains" after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time in a decade.

Azarenka beat Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday to set up a last-four meeting with Elena Rybakina.

Former world number one Azarenka came in for criticism when she took a medical timeout during her last semi-final at Melbourne Park back in 2013, delaying her match against Sloane Stephens by 10 minutes.

The Belarusian, who is now 33, returned to beat Stephens and went on to defend successfully her title.

Questions have been raised over the extent of a hamstring issue nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic has been contending with as he attempts to match Rafael Nadal's tally of 22 major triumphs this weekend.

Azarenka feels it is out of order for such suspicions to be raised by people who are not aware of the facts.

She said: "Do you know what happened 10 years ago? That's the thing.

"It was one of the worst things that I've ever gone through in my professional career, the way I was treated after that moment, the way I had to explain myself until 10:30pm at night because people didn't want to believe me. I actually can resonate what Novak said the other day.

"There is sometimes incredible desire for a villain and a hero story that has to be written. But we're not villains, we're not heroes, we are regular human beings that go through so many, many things.

"Assumptions and judgements, all those comments, are just s*** because nobody's there to see the full story. It didn't matter how many times I said my story, it did not cut through.

"Actually it's funny that you're saying that because I was thinking about it. It took me 10 f****** years to get over it. I finally am over that."

Asked to expound what the judgements or assumptions she experienced were, Azarenka said: "I've been called that I'm cheating, that I'm faking, that I was trying to throw people off their game. It's everything that is so wrong about my character if somebody actually knows me.

"At some point I've heard that she has this thing that is bad or this thing is bad, whatever. At some point you're like, 'Really? Am I?'. Those doubts starts to creep in.

"Now I just don't care. I am more and more confident in what I know about myself, and I'm at peace with that. Those comments, judgements, they're there. I notice them. But I don't care."

Shubman Gill matched an ODI record after cracking another mesmerising century for India and revealed how his rapid accumulation of the "big ones" has come about.

The 23-year-old has begun 2023 with 70, 21 and 116 against Sri Lanka, followed by 208, 40 not out and 112 against New Zealand.

Before the turn of the year, he had one century in 15 ODIs, but all of a sudden he has rattled off three in 10 days.

The difference has been a slight adjustment in focus, with Gill saying: "I don't think I've changed much of my approach when I'm batting out there. It's all about once you get the start, how often you can work those starts into big ones, and that's what I'm trying to learn.

"As soon as I get a start, [I look for] every opportunity that I get to be able to express myself and work all the starts I get into big ones.

"I think it's all about playing according to the situation, not looking at your runs, just looking at conditions and looking at the bowler, and how you can score against this particular bowler, just looking to score all the time."

Gill was speaking after his 78-ball 112 against New Zealand helped to pave the way for a 90-run victory and 3-0 series clean sweep.

It also took him to 360 runs for the series, matching the record for most runs by a batter in a men's three-match ODI series, and equalling the total of Pakistan's Babar Azam against West Indies in 2016.

"It feels nice, this was a really good wicket to bat on," Gill said.

India captain Rohit Sharma made 101 as both openers scorched to three figures in an India total of 385-9 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.

Rohit paid tribute to his young batting partner for showing such strong form, saying it was a tribute to his attitude that he was performing so well.

Gill was player of the series, and Rohit said: "His approach is quite similar. He doesn't change too much and wants to come out and start afresh.

"As a young player just coming into the team, having that kind of attitude is so important, not to sit on your laurels. He could have taken it lightly but doesn't seem to be that way."

Speaking at the post-match presentation, as India went above England at the top of the ICC rankings, Rohit said his own century, his 30th in ODIs, was a cause for great satisfaction.

It was his first hundred in an ODI since January 2020.

"It means a lot. I've been batting well, and it's about going that extra mile," Rohit said.

"Today the wicket was good, and we knew we needed runs on the board, and it was important for me to carry on and bat for as long as possible."

Three men have been arrested for alleged homophobic chanting during Liverpool's goalless draw with Chelsea at Anfield on Saturday, Merseyside Police confirmed.

The men, aged 23, 37 and 49, were arrested on suspicion of "homophobic intentional harassment alarm and distress".

The 37-year-old male has been bailed pending further enquiries, while the other two suspects will attend a voluntary interview.

Merseyside Police also revealed in a statement on Tuesday that 16 people were ejected from Anfield for various offences during the Premier League match.

The Football Association announced earlier this month it can now charge clubs if their fans use a homophobic chant that has been aimed at Chelsea players and supporters.

The chant was defined as a hate crime by the Crown Prosecution Service last year, with Chelsea welcoming that decision at the time.

The FA has investigated a number of such chants in recent weeks from supporters of Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Merseyside Police superintendent Paul Sutcliffe said: "We'll not tolerate hate crime of any form. We'll bring to justice anyone found responsible for committing any offensive chanting.

"In this instance, if the three suspects are charged and found guilty for the offence, then we will we will be seeking football banning orders on them."

Stefanos Tsitsipas has no chip on his shoulder about how much hype he receives, despite becoming the youngest player since Roger Federer to reach three successive Australian Open semi-finals.

Tsitsipas defeated Jiri Lehecka in straight sets on Tuesday to seal his place in the last four in Melbourne.

In the process, the 24-year-old reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the third consecutive year, matching the feat of the great Federer between 2004 and 2006.

The world number four also became the fourth male player in the Open Era to stay unbeaten in his first six grand slam quarter-finals after Rod Laver, Patrick Rafter, and Andre Agassi.

However, Tsitsipas insists he is not worried by how much attention his accomplishments get.

When asked if no longer being talked about as one of the next generation's figureheads meant he now has a chip on his shoulder, the Greek replied: "No, I don't really think about it.

"Every single opponent has his own background, his own sort of dynamic they put out on the court.

"I kind of forgot that Jiri today was a next gen player. Never thought about it.

"I approach every single opponent of mine with the same mindset. I never put labels on them. Each and every match that I get to play against them is a new chapter in my book."

Tsitsipas also believes he has already been through the early stage of his development, and now views himself as one of the maturer players.

"I passed through this myself. At some point it fades out a little bit 'cause you are an adult," he said.

"I had my fair share of that. There's no other 'gen' after that, it's just adulthood. 

"It's mindset. It's clearly mindset. Nothing more."

Asked if this could be the tournament in which he breaks his grand slam duck, Tsitsipas said: "I'm feeling great with my tennis. I don't think I felt so good in a long time.

"I will definitely say yes to it. I've said it, I'm a different player, playing different. My mentality is different. When I'm out on the court, I don't really think of negatives, to be honest. I just go out there and play the game."

Fernando Santos has been appointed Poland head coach until 2026 following the end of his tenure with Portugal.

Santos, 68, was in charge of the Selecao for over eight years and guided them to success at Euro 2016 and the inaugural Nations League in 2019.

Despite those trophies, Portugal fans had become frustrated with the style of football Santos' team played in recent years, with there being a perception of him underachieving given the wealth of talent at his disposal.

Santos' Portugal contract was not due to expire until after Euro 2024, but he was removed from his role after the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco last month.

Roberto Martinez has since replaced him.

Santos has not wasted much time in taking a new job either, however, with Poland his third international position in succession after also coaching Greece for four years prior to taking over Portugal.

He will be only Poland's third non-native head coach after Portuguese compatriot Paulo Sousa, who had a brief spell in charge in 2021, and Leo Beenhakker.

Polish Football Association (PZPN) president Cezary Kulesza had essentially confirmed the hiring on Monday when he posted a photo of himself with Santos, the caption announcing a press conference for the following day.

Santos' first goal will be to secure Poland's qualification for a fourth successive appearance at the European Championship, with the 2024 edition to take place in neighbouring Germany.

He will then be tasked with leading Poland to the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States, after which his contract is due to end.

An estimated 70 students from about 20 prep and primary schools are expected to participate in the third annual Mona Preparatory Rapid Chess Tournament set for Saturday, January 28, 2023 at the Mona Prep Church Hall in Kingston.

Sponsored by Express Canteen, the tournament held in conjunction with the Mona Prep Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA), began in 2020 with the objective of encouraging critical and strategic thinking among children at the primary level of education.

“Chess is a game that forces one to think and helps to build critical thinking, which are the ‘new’ buzz words for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP). The aim is to create the awareness of the game and how it can build one’s skill in critical thinking,” said Natalia Blake, Sports Director, Mona Prep PTA back then.

The tournament has children from ages 6-11 vying for trophies, books, gift baskets and certificates while hoping to emerge as champions.

According to Andrea Johnson, a member of the Mona Prep PTA and member of the organizing committee, the tournament has proven to be quite popular among students. She indicated that even during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 and 2022, more than 50 students competed online.

With the tournament returning to face-to-face competition this year, she is expecting that even more students will be keen on participation.

Terence Lindo, national arbiter, who is also a member of the organizing committee, said students will play each other according to the grades they are in. This means that grade one students will play grade one students and so on. However, in the event that there are not a sufficient number of entries from any one grade, players will be pooled with those from the next grade.

The international organizer said the Jamaica Chess Federation rating system will be used during the tournament where matches will last 30 minutes with 30-second increments to ensure competitiveness.

 He revealed that over time, for future tournaments, students will be given ratings.

Express Canteen has been a long-time supporter of school sports in Jamaica. In addition to their sponsorship of the Mona Prep Rapid Chess Tournament, Express Canteen, is also the concessionaire and sponsor for Lannamans Prep, the recent winners of the JISA Prep School Football Competition as well as Hydel Prep that recently won the JISA Netball Competition.

It is no surprise then that their support has helped propel several schools towards success, fostering a spirit of success.

This, among other reasons, is why CEO of Express Canteen Ryan Foster said his company was glad to be on board as a sponsor of this very important competition.

"Express Canteen is pleased to have partnered with the Mona Prep PTA for the third time in the staging of "The Mona Chess". We are not only Mona Prep food partner but also a key stakeholder in the process of providing a balanced environment between education and sport,” he said.

“We want to wish all participants the best of luck and may the core values of fair play be at the center of competition. We are extremely happy with the work being done by the PTA body along with the school and hence why we have continued on board to make this event a reality. Sport transcends borders and improves lives and livelihood."

Mikaela Shiffrin made history on Tuesday by winning an 83rd World Cup race, triumphing in Kronplatz with another giant slalom masterclass.

Just 16 days after Shiffrin equalled fellow American Lindsey Vonn's record tally of 82nd victories in Kranjska Gora, she moved out on her own as the most successful female World Cup alpine skier of all time.

The remarkable 27-year-old beat Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami by 45 hundredths of a second to take the top step of the podium, with Italy's Federica Brignone in third place.

Shiffrin is enjoying an outstanding season, with this her fourth win of the past five giant slalom races.

She was fastest in both runs with another imperious exhibition of giant slalom skiing and now stands just three victories away from matching Swede Ingemar Stenmark's record number of wins for any skier of 86.

Shiffrin said on a momentous day in the Dolomites: "I was a bit nervous for the second run, but mostly I hate waiting, and finally when it was time to go, then everything went quiet and I just pushed as hard as I could every turn.

"I was a little bit wild in some spots, but it felt so clean. I thought I wouldn't be faster [than Gut-Behrami], but I thought I could maybe be close and then somehow I got to the finish."

Shiffrin has racked up 51 slalom victories in an astonishing career, more than any other skier in the discipline, while she is only two victories shy of Vreni Schneider's record of 20 World Cup giant slalom triumphs.

Shubman Gill and captain Rohit Sharma led the way with explosive centuries as India beat New Zealand by 90 runs to clinch a 3-0 ODI series clean sweep.

After racking up 385-9 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, India bowled out their opponents for 295, and Tuesday's victory lifts them above England to the top of the ICC ODI team rankings.

Gill, who hit a double hundred in the first match, shared in a stand of 212 with Rohit for the first wicket on Tuesday, the fifth-largest ODI partnership by an India opening pair.

After setting the tone for the contest as both openers reached three figures, Rohit was bowled by Michael Bracewell for 101 from 85 balls at the start of the 27th over, while Gill went soon after for a 78-ball 112 when he got a leading edge to present Blair Tickner (3-76) with the first of his three wickets.

Gill totalled 360 runs across the three games, matching Babar Azam's record for the most scored in a three-match bilateral men's ODI series.

Virat Kohli added 36 and Hardik Pandya weighed in with 54 before becoming the third victim of Jacob Duffy, the New Zealand paceman who returned conspicuous figures of 3-100.

Devon Conway's heroics in New Zealand's reply were in vain, as he cracked 138 from 100 balls before being caught by Rohit at midwicket when looking to pull Umran Malik away to the boundary.

Conway blazed eight sixes in his terrific counter-attack but lacked support. Once he became the sixth Black Caps batter to be dismissed, with the score on 230, the tourists' hopes were all but over, and the innings inevitably petered out.

Holkar a happy home for India

India preserved their 100 per cent record in ODIs at the stadium in Indore, which was staging such a match for just the sixth time. This is the most matches they have won at any venue in ODIs without losing, beating the five wins and one tie they have had at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

This India team are in a rich vein of ODI form, wherever they play, having won all six of their matches in 2023, with this success improving what was already their best winning run to begin a calendar year.

Duffy's sorry century

Duffy's figures of 3-100 made him just the third New Zealand bowler to concede 100 or more runs in a men's ODI, after Martin Snedden (2-105 vs England in 1983) and Tim Southee (0-105 vs India in 2009). Duffy's three wickets, however, gave him the most victims of any bowler to have conceded a century of runs in such a match.

The Waves overpowered defending champion Horizon to snap their winning streak and hand them their first loss of the Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League last Saturday at the National Arena while the Storm defeated the Rivers, who is yet to record a win in the league. 

Horizon started out slowly while taking three minutes to score its first point and ending the quarter 18 to Waves' 26. Waves outscored them in the second quarter as well and lead by as many as 23 to close the quarter at 34-57. Horizon picked up the scoring in the third quarter but was still behind (60-73) at the end. Horizon continued to make inroads in the fourth quarter but jut could not get the win. The match went to the Waves 88-83 who won by just five points. The Waves's Cameron Burhannon (37 points) was on fire throughout the game while Bobby Gray (22 points), was the top scorer for Horizon. 

Waves and Horizon now have four wins each after playing five matches while defeating each other once in the league so far. The will next meet in the play-off to see who the finalists will be. 

Waves' coach Rohan Robinson was pleased with the win, "well it was a good one (match). We watched the game (the first game and saw the mistakes). We went back to the drawing board and said that the guys have to live up to their responsibility and live up to role and as a result of that we gained a 26-point lead, then we had some issues with persons playing too much minutes. I allowed the bench to give them as much rest as possible but I am just disappointed a bit that when the bench came in they couldn't hold the lead. I am going to hold my leaders accountable for how we finished the game because we should not be in that position again." He made special mention of 7-footer Tyran Walker who was injured early in the league, for having a very good game. 

Horizon's coach Cleon Morgan accepted the loss but thinks that its good for the team at this stage of the competition. "We have lost tonight but we have a four-game win streak which was pretty good for us. I think there are two matches to go. Losing at this point is good for the team as we can go back to the drawing board, look at our mistakes tonight and work on that so we can come back again play how we are used to playing." He was happy to reduce the Waves' win margin to just five after being down by 26 in the third quarter. 

The second match of the night was eagerly awaited as everyone in the Arena willed the Rivers to get their first win.  They came close to doing so several times but faltered by the way after being in good positions with healthy leads but it was another night of disappointment for them. The Storm put on a show while winning every quarter 21-15, 58-38, 78-62 and 102-79 to take the match by 23 points.  The top scorers in the match were - Storm's Brandon "Bdot" Armstrong with 23 points and Rivers' Anthony Ottley 27 points. 

Armstrong credited his team for the win "it was great overall match.  It was the first time we had a full squad, no injuries so I knew that we were going to come out playing well, playing well defensively, and moving the ball. This is our best complete game from starting number to the fourteenth person on the bench. I must give credit to my teammates." 

The next set of matches are scheduled for Wednesday (January 25) when four-time winner Waves will take on the Storm (2 wins) at the National Arena at 6:00 pm. The 8:00pm match-up will see the defending champion Horizon taking on Rivers who is still seeking their first win.

Jamie George and Elliot Daly have withdrawn from England's Six Nations squad due to injury.

Hooker George has been sidelined by concussion after taking a blow in Saracens' European Champions Cup defeat at Edinburgh last weekend.

Versatile back Daly has been ruled out with a hamstring injury as the Red Rose prepare to face Scotland in their first game of the tournament a week on Saturday.

Jamie Blamire and Ollie Lawrence were on Tuesday called up as replacements for the experienced duo.

England head coach Steve Borthwick is also set to be without Courtney Lawes for his first match in charge at Twickenham next week, as the towering lock is struggling with calf injury.

Hooker George McGuigan (knee) is also in the treatment room along with Luke Cowan-Dickie (ankle).

Blamire, Tom Dunn and the uncapped Jack Walker are the remaining hooker options for Borthwick.

Karen Khachanov has defended his decision to publicly show support for the breakaway region of Artsakh, despite drawing the ire of the Azerbaijan Tennis Federation (ATF).

Khachanov – who was born in Russia but has an Armenian father – has written supportive messages on a camera twice during his run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Azerbaijan's blockade of Artsakh, which began in December, is part of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, with the area internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan despite historically being a part of Armenia.

Following Khachanov's show of support, the ATF wrote to the International Tennis Federation, calling the world number 20's messages a "hateful act".

The statement added: "The ATF condemned this act and demanded that the tennis player be punished and urged the International Tennis Federation to take harsh measures for prevention of such incidents in the future."

Speaking after his quarter-final win over Sebastian Korda, in which the American retired hurt with Khachanov leading by two sets and a break, the Russian defended his actions.

"I say many times. I have Armenian roots," he said. "From my father's side, from my grandfather's side, even from my mum's side. I'm half Armenian.

"To be honest, I don't want to go deeper than that, and I just wanted to show strength and support to my people. That's it."

On whether he had heard from the ITF since the complaint was made, Khachanov replied: "I didn't hear anything about that," adding that he has also not been told to stop writing the messages on cameras.

Khachanov will play Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open semi-finals on Friday.

Erik ten Hag changed his tone and declared he was happy with Manchester United's overall defending this season, despite criticising his team after their 3-2 loss to Arsenal.

United fell 11 points behind the Gunners in the race for the Premier League title, with Eddie Nketiah scoring a late winner at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

After that game, Ten Hag said United's defensive failings had been "unacceptable".

Speaking ahead of an EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Nottingham Forest, Ten Hag explained he was talking about defending of the goals specifically and is otherwise pleased with his team's efforts at the back, although there are lessons to be taken on board.

"I think in a lot of games we defended very well, we had a lot of clean sheets," Ten Hag said.

"Against Man City [in United's recent 2-1 win at Old Trafford], we defended very well. I think, in general, also against Arsenal, we defended well.

"I don't think they had many clean shots, I think the one time was from a free-kick. But the rest were shots from distance, when we had a lot of defenders in between the ball and the goal.

"That's what I meant when I said all the goals were avoidable and it can't happen. That was my point: when you concede three goals in a top game, it is very hard to win the game.

"That is what happened so that is one of the conclusions. It can't happen. We set that conclusion... we have to learn and take this lesson."

Ten Hag – who ruled Diogo Dalot, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial out of the Forest game – also spoke about the importance of winning trophies, with United hoping to end a run without one since May 2017.

The 52-year-old won three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups and a Johan Cruyff Shield in his time in charge of Ajax, and said: "It's about that, it's about winning trophies.

"We have a good opportunity, but we have to go from game to game. So now we play Forest, two legs, so focus on the first leg and don't think further ahead because that will distract. So the aim for tomorrow is to win that game.

“It is the best feeling you can have, winning a trophy. I had the luck in my career to win some trophies and it was magnificent, especially for the fans. It's so great.

“The fans here, they have some experience, especially the older fans. And now it's a period when Manchester United didn't win any trophies and it's too long ago, so we are aware of that fact. We have to do everything to bring a trophy in."

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