Daily Sports Headlines December 22, 2022
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Messi flown out in helicopter as millions swarm team bus to celebrate World Cup victory
With millions of people out on the roads in Buenos Aires Tuesday to celebrate Argentina’s World Cup title, Lionel Messi and his team mates were forced to abandon the planned open-top bus route and instead fly over the city in helicopters, according to media reports.
After crowds swarmed the team bus upon arrival at 3 a.m. at the airport, the planned trip through the city at midday was interrupted with at least 4 million people in the roads making it difficult for the bus to move ahead, according to Clarin.
President Alberto Fernandez declared a national holiday for the celebrations, the football-crazy nation, overwhelmed with joy after winning the World Cup descended into chaos.
Ramiz Raja says Pakistan won’t boycott 2023 ODI World Cup; tells ICC it was said to pressurise India
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has told the ICC officials that it had threatened to boycott next year’s 50-over World Cup in India to exert pressure on the neighbouring country to send its team for the Asia Cup, according to PTI sources.
The hosting rights of the 2023 edition of the 50-over Asia Cup has been awarded to Pakistan by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) as a pre-cursor to the marquee World Cup in India (October-November 2023). In October, ACC president and BCCI secretary Jay Shah had said that India will not travel to Pakistan next year for the 50-over Asia Cup — likely to be held in September 2023 — after which the PCB had threatened to pull out of the World Cup.
Australian batter trolled for unimaginable act on hat-trick ball in BBL
Michael Neser made a dream return to the Big Bash League (BBL). But he got a little help from Jonathan Wells. Representing Brisbane Heat, Neser was breathing fire with the new ball on a Geelong pitch that had a lot for the bowlers. The right-arm pacer dismissed Melbourne Renegades opener, Sam Harper, off the first ball of the innings. It was one of his least impressive deliveries but Neser would not complain. Harper’s opening partner, Jake Fraser-McGurk, however, got a cracker from Neser, something which the Australia quick is known for. The ball pitched around off and moved away to get the outside edge of the right-hander. Renegades were reduced to 6 for 2 in the first over in their 138-run chase. The real drama was reserved for Neser’s next over.
He started the over with another wicket as Nic Maddinson dragged a wide one back to his stumps. Neser was now on a hat-trick and in walked Wells. Neser did everything in his control. He pitched it on a good length and got the ball to jag back in from the length. Wells, however, did the unthinkable. On a hat-trick ball, he decided to shoulder his arms. The cannoned onto his off stump to give Neser his hat-trick and the fourth of the night.
UFC veterans in MMA action from Dec. 21-31
The UFC is done for the year after UFC Fight Night 216 in Las Vegas.
However, there are other MMA promotions in action for their final cards of the year during the holidays that feature a number of UFC veterans, including multiple former flyweight title challengers.
These 15 veterans of the UFC are competing across the globe from Dec. 21-31.
FIFA has new format for 2026 World Cup and it is pretty different from 2022 edition
The 2026 World Cup, which will be the 23rd edition of the soccer fest will be jointly hosted by three North American countries that include Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It will be the first time that a group of three countries will be hosting the FIFA World Cup.
The 2026 World Cup will have 12 groups of 4 teams. The World Cup will be played across 16 host cities. 2 teams from all the 12 groups and 8 best third-placed teams will proceed to the next round. The knockouts will start as soon as the final 32 are confirmed. A total of 104 games will be played.
This will be the first time that Canada will host a World Cup contest. The United States of America will host 60 matches including every match from the quarterfinals onward. Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each.
Lakers vs. Kings odds, line: 2022 NBA picks, Dec. 21
The Sacramento Kings (16-13) try to go 2-0 against the Los Angeles Lakers (13-17) this season on Wednesday night, as both teams are looking to bounce back from losses. Anthony Davis will remain out for the Lakers after he’s missed the last two games with a foot injury. Meanwhile, Domantas Sabonis (hand) and Harrison Barnes (quad) came out of their last game carrying injuries and are listed as questionable on Wednesday.
Bangladesh vs India: Will KL Rahul be fit for 2nd Test after picking up hand injury in nets?
After winning the first Test match at Chattogram comfortably, Team India is all set to lock horns with Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka. The Men in Blue registered a 188-run win over the Bangla Tigers in the first match of the two-game Test series.
Rahul Dravid’s men will have the chance to complete a clean-sweep against Bangladesh in the Test series after losing the one-day international series 2-1. As far as Test matches are concerned, India are yet to taste defeat at the hands of Bangladesh and can only afford to lose any more games if they are to qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship.
Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier has made his picks for the promotion’s male and female fighters of the year.
2022 saw a host of storylines reach the Octagon, some of which concluded with the crowning of new champions.
DC began by identifying one of two reigning champs who fought back to the top this year as his standout performer on the women’s roster.
Rather than being Amanda Nunes, who defeated Julianna Peña in her sole 2022 outing to win back the bantamweight gold, Cormier named the reigning strawweight queen as his female fighter of the year.
“I chose Zhang Weili. We have (two) women… Valentina and Amanda, who we can give the female fighter of the year to every single year,” Cormier said.
Philadelphia Eagles lead NFL with 8 selections to new Pro Bowl Games
The Philadelphia Eagles have the NFL’s best record at 13-1. Now they lead the NFL in invitations to the Pro Bowl Games as well.
Eight Eagles players — quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver A.J. Brown, offensive linemen Landon Dickerson, Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce, edge Haason Reddick, running back Miles Sanders and cornerback Darius Slay — all made the NFC team on Wednesday.
Five other teams are sending at least five players. Seven members of the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs were invited. The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers each are represented by six players, while the Minnesota Vikings had five players make it.
Gregg Popovich, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade among HOF nominees
Gregg Popovich has been at the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony many times over the years, always there to show support for someone on the stage.
Next year, he might be there in a different capacity.
The NBA’s all-time winningest coach — who has quietly declined overtures from the Hall in the past — is among the list of prominent first-time nominees for the 2023 class released Wednesday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Banned Russian athlete Natalia Antyukh loses Olympic gold after not appealing ban
Banned Russian athlete and Olympic 400m hurdles champion Natalia Antyukh will lose her gold medal from London 2012 after she did not appeal her doping ban, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old won the 400m hurdles title at the 2012 Games, defeating American Lashinda Demus, who will be upgraded to gold once the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acts on the AIU ruling.
In October, the AIU disqualified Antyukh’s results from July 2012-June 2013 “for the use of a prohibited substance/method.” The ruling became final and binding with the athlete not appealing the decision within the stipulated 45 days.
Boxing pound-for-pound rankings: Is Naoya Inoue closing in on Terence Crawford for No. 1?
Naoya Inoue became the undisputed bantamweight champion after earning an 11th-round KO victory on Dec. 13 in Tokyo. The win also earned him eight first-place votes from our ESPN’s pound-for pound 21-member panel, moving him closer to Terence Crawford at No. 1.
In his other fight this year, Inoue scored a second-round TKO victory over Nonito Donaire in June, a rematch of their 2019 ESPN fight of the year.
“I moved Inoue to the top spot because he’s been the most dominant fighter of the past year — in part because he’s actually taken on big fights, followed through and stopped his opponents,” ESPN writer Michael Rotshtein said about putting Inoue at No. 1 on his list over Crawford. “He’s knocked out his last five opponents and has been consistent along the way, too. In a year where too many of the top fighters ducked their biggest challenges, Inoue annihilated the best his division has to offer.”
Broken teeth, clutch performers and hidden gems: Inside Norfolk State’s perfect weekend at the Chris Paul HBCU Challenge
It’s 5 a.m. on Friday and Norfolk State basketball coach Robert Jones desires a few more hours of sleep. But there’s a 5:30 a.m. national television hit to do, which would be fine if not for the 13-hour travel day from Norfolk, Virginia, to Las Vegas — via Baltimore — that concluded with him getting to his MGM Grand hotel room just past 1 a.m.
“I’m exhausted,” Jones said, following the television appearance that lasted all of four minutes. “But I’m a team player. I’ll do whatever it is I need to do for national exposure of our program.”
That exposure is the reason why Norfolk State came to Las Vegas, one of four teams playing in the Boost Mobile HBCU Challenge held Dec. 17 and Dec. 18 that’s hosted by Phoenix Suns guard — and now HBCU graduate — Chris Paul. This is Norfolk State’s second year in the event, after playing in the inaugural HBCU Challenge in Phoenix last year.
Cristiano Ronaldo close to Saudi Arabia move with Chelsea, Sporting silent
Al Nassr are growing increasingly confident of completing a move for free agent Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Foot Mercato.
It is reported that the 37-year-old striker has not heard anything from Chelsea or Sporting CP in recent weeks, and the latest reveals that despite his intentions to remain in Europe, he is now more open to making the switch to the Saudi Pro League.
Ronaldo initially wanted to join a team that could provide him with top-level European football after being released from Manchester United last month, but with the trail into the Champions League going cold, Al Nassr have been able to capitalise on the situation with a three-year proposal worth €200 million per season.
QB Arch Manning, No. 2 prospect in ESPN 300, signs with Texas
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound star from Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans is the nephew of Eli and Peyton Manning. His father, Cooper Manning, played wide receiver at Ole Miss.
At Newman, Arch Manning was a four-year starter, throwing for 8,599 yards and 115 touchdowns with 20 interceptions while rushing for 1,155 yards and 25 TDs. He broke Eli’s school record for passing yards (7,268) and Peyton’s for TDs (93).
“Signing Arch Manning was big on a lot of fronts,” Sarkisian said Wednesday afternoon. “He’s extremely gifted. He’s got all the attributes needed to be a good quarterback. He’s 6-4, 225, he’s got a great arm. He’s a good athlete. He’s got really good fundamentals. There’s not a throw he can’t make. He’s got the desire, the competitiveness, the work ethic needed to be great at the position.”
That’s all for now. Thank you for your attention.