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Other Sports: Vietnam SEA Games pushed back to May 2022 due to Covid-19 concerns, says OCM



PETALING JAYA: The Vietnam SEA Games will not be held this year and has been pushed back to May 2022 due to Covid-19 concerns, confirms the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

The OCM said the decision was made during the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) Office meeting on Monday (Oct 18).

However, the new dates for the region's biggest multi-sport event will only be known at the end of this month.

"At the meeting, it was confirmed that the 31st SEA Games 2021 will be held in the middle of May 2022," the OCM said in a statement.

"The exact dates will be confirmed by the end of October 2021 as the Organising Committee is awaiting final confirmation from their government."

The scheduled dates for the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games from May 5-16 remain

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Rugby: Rugby-Japan’s set piece now a weapon, says Wallaby Alaalatoa


SYDNEY (Reuters) - The days when Japan were a pushover in the scrum are long gone and Australia prop Allan Alaalatoa is expecting a fierce battle against an experienced front row when the teams meet in Oita this weekend.

The Brave Blossoms took a big step up in the forwards on their run to the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals and Alaalatoa saw more improvement against the big packs of the British and Irish Lions XV and Ireland this year.

"What we see in the Japanese scrummaging is that they're very low, and we know that their front row is very experienced," he told reporters from Japan on Monday.

"Their front row has been together for a few years now and most of them played in the World Cup. They've all been sticking to the same system together for a while.

"That's definitely a strength of theirs, and seeing the way they scrum

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Cricket: Cricket-World Cup wickets could be good for seamers – Southee



SYDNEY (Reuters) - New Zealand's Tim Southee, one of only two quicks in the top 10 of the Twenty20 bowling world rankings, believes sluggish wickets at the World Cup could work out well for seamers.

Southee joined the Black Caps squad for his fourth T20 World Cup at the weekend after playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders during the recent conclusion of the IPL, also in the United Arab Emirates.

"It was a great experience and no better preparation leading into the World Cup here in the same conditions we're going to be faced with," he said.

"The wickets have been slightly different to what you'd usually expect in the UAE, a touch on the slow side. The seamers have actually done a reasonable job with a lot of cutters and banging away into the wickets.

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Tennis: Tennis-Raducanu to train with Konta’s former coach this week-reports



(Reuters) - U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu will train with Johanna Konta's former coach Esteban Carril this week as the 18-year-old looks for a mentor to guide her during the next phase of her career, British media reported.

Raducanu, who stunned the sporting world when she won the Flushing Meadows title as a qualifier without dropping a set, announced after the Grand Slam that she would no longer be working with former Davis Cup player Andrew Richardson.

She withdrew from this week's Kremlin Cup in Moscow after a second-round defeat at the Indian Wells tournament - her first match since winning the U.S. Open crown.

Former player Jeremy Bates had stepped in to help Raducanu during the tournament in Southern California.

Spaniard Carril helped K

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Cricket: Cricket-Afghanistan seek members’ support ahead of crucial ICC meeting



NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has requested the support of other full members of the International Cricket Council ahead of next month's crucial meeting where the game's future in the South Asian country is likely to be decided.

The strife-torn nation's remarkable rise has been cricket's biggest fairytale story in recent times but Afghanistan risk isolation following the country's Taliban takeover in August.

Cricket Australia (CA) has already threatened to scrap next month's one-off test in Hobart between the men's teams if the new government in Kabul did not allow women to play the sport.

World governing body ICC had taken a wait-and-watch approach on whether Afghanistan can continue as a full member - allowing it to play

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Cricket: Cricket-Dodemaide named Australia selector


MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former test all-rounder Tony Dodemaide has been named on Australia's panel of selectors with chairman George Bailey and coach Justin Langer, Cricket Australia said on Monday.

Dodemaide, who played 10 tests and 24 one-day internationals, completes the three-man panel, filling the place vacated by Trevor Hohns.

"He is an ideal fit for the selector role at this time and brings skills and experience that will complement George and Justin while adding value to the team and high performance area more broadly," Cricket Australia executive Ben Oliver said in a media release.

Dodemaide has held several senior administrative roles in cricket, including MCC Head of Cricket at Lord's, CEO of Western Australian Cricket and long-term boss of Cricket Victoria until 2018.

He will start work as a selector from mid-November,

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Tennis: Tennis-Norrie makes light of missing shoes after Indian Wells triumph



(Reuters) - Cameron Norrie said playing Sunday's Indian Wells final in a brand new pair of shoes was not ideal, but the Briton was able to see the funny side of things after getting past Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6 6-4 6-1.

Norrie, who became the first British man to win the Masters 1000 tournament, discovered shortly before the biggest match of his career that three pairs of well-worn shoes he had left on his locker overnight had disappeared.

"I think someone, I don't know who it was ... maybe someone from the cleaners came through and they threw the three pairs that I had away," Norrie told reporters.

"Luckily I didn't have a wedding ring attached (to them). I didn't lose that, so it was a bonus," he added, referring to an incident involving Andy Murra

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Rugby: Rugby-Maori All Black Wainui dies in car crash


(Reuters) - Maori All Blacks back Sean Wainui died aged 25 in a car accident on Monday, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said in a statement.

Wainui played 10 games for the Maori All Blacks and made 44 Super Rugby appearances for the Chiefs after a spell with the Crusaders.

"We know Sean's passing will be felt deeply by everyone involved in rugby, particularly his Bay of Plenty and Chiefs team mates and we share their sorrow and their shock," NZR CEO Mark Robinson said.

He asked the media to give the Wainui family "space to grieve as we all reflect on a young life that has ended far too early".

Media reported that the single-vehicle accident took place in Omanawa, near Tauranga and Wainui was the sole occupant of the car.

Wainui joined the Chiefs in 2018 where he was a hugely popular figure with the fans.

He broke the record

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Football: Soccer-Solskjaer eyes tactical tweaks to stop Man Utd slump



(Reuters) - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he might have to make tactical changes to improve the balance of his team and arrest their poor form after a 4-2 Premier League defeat by Leicester City over the weekend.

United's loss at Leicester on Saturday snapped their record 29-game unbeaten away run in the league and heaped the pressure on Solskjaer, who has guided them to a draw and two defeats in the last three matches.

Despite having several high-profile players in their line-up including Cristiano Ronaldo, United have come under criticism from fans and analysts in recent weeks for lacking an identity.

"Over the international break, we have had a good look to see what has gone wrong lately. But we need to look at the whole setup

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Tennis: Tennis-Britain’s Norrie tops Basilashvili to win Indian Wells title



(Reuters) - Cameron Norrie battled back to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6 6-4 6-1 in the Indian Wells final on Sunday and become the first British man to win the Masters 1000 tournament.

It appeared an upset was in the works when the hard-hitting Basilashvili took the first set but Norrie regrouped in the second, breaking the Georgian at love to force a decider.

In the third set, the left-handed Norrie broke early and saved three break points on his serve to take a 3-0 lead as unforced errors began to pile up for Basilashvili under the lights in the Southern California desert.

Norrie sealed the win when Basilashvili sent a forehand long on championship point to collect the biggest win of his career.

Britain's Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Gre

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