Pune, Rajkot get nod NEW DELHI, India (AP): The western cities of Pune and Rajkot will provide the franchises to fill in for the suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League over the next two years. The Board of Control for Cricket in India said the new teams will be temporary replacements after the Super Kings and Royals were suspended this year by a Supreme Court-appointed committee over corruption and spot-fixing. New Rising Consortium-owned Pune and mobile phone manufacturer Intex-owned Rajkot were selected in a reverse-bidding process in which bidders were asked to discount their annual revenue share of US$6 million. New Rising gave up that revenue entirely and also committed to pay US$2.4 million per year to the BCCI. Intex will pay US$1.5 million per year. McCullum stands by evidence DUNEDIN, New Zealand (AP): New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum says he stands by the evidence he gave at the perjury trial of former teammate Chris Cairns, although Cairns’ acquittal has raised questions over whether he was believed by a jury in London. McCullum was the prosecution’s leading witness in the trial of Cairns, the former New Zealand allrounder who was alleged to have lied in a libel action against Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi, who accused him of involvement in match-fixing. In evidence, McCullum said he was approached by Cairns in 2008 and encouraged to become involved in match-fixing. Cairns’ legal team sought to discredit McCullum’s evidence by pointing out he took three years to report the alleged approach, then changed elements of his story on later occasions. On the eve New Zealand’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Dunedin, McCullum faced the media yesterday for the first time since Cairns’ acquittal. Few questions at the conference related to the Test match; instead, McCullum was quizzed on his evidence and the fallout from the Cairns trial. Swansea sack Monk SWANSEA, Wales (AP): Swansea has fired manager Garry Monk after nearly two years in charge, following a dip in form that has seen the team win just one of their last eleven Premier League games. Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins says he made the decision because of “a drop of performance levels and run of results over the last three months.” Jenkins says “when you take into account the excellent campaign we had last season when we broke all club records in the Premier League, nobody foresaw the position we would be in at this moment in time.” Monk was with the club for more than 11 years, first as a defender and then manager since February 2014 when he replaced Michael Laudrup. Barcelona aiming for third Club World Cup title TOKYO, Japan (AP): Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez spearhead Barcelona’s attempt to win a third Club World Cup title when the European champions arrive in Japan next week. Luis Enrique’s squad will play their first game on December 17 in Yokohama, just five days after hosting Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish league. The tournament begins on Thursday in Yokohama. Barcelona and Copa Libertadores winners River Plate are favourites to reach the December 20 final. Barcelona won the tournament in 2009 and 2011 and the Spanish league leaders are clear favourites to continue Europe’s domination. The tournament, which features the top clubs from FIFA’s six continental confederations plus the champion of the host country, returns to Japan for the first time since 2012. It was hosted in Morocco the previous two years.
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