Hafeez banned

Mumbai: All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has become the second Pakistan cricketer to be banned from bowling for 12 months on Friday after his action was found to be illegal by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the second time since November. Former Pakistan captain Hafeez was initially reported after the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi in November and was subsequently banned after an independent analysis found his action to be illegal. He was cleared to bowl in April after changing his action but the part-time off-spinner was again reported by match officials for a suspect action during last month’s Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. “Hafeez is entitled to appeal any procedural aspect of an independent assessment that has led to this automatic suspension,” ICC said. "However, only after the expiry of this one-year period will he be entitled to approach the ICC for a re-assessment of his bowling action." Pakistan paceman Shabbir Ahmed was the first to be banned from bowling for a year in December 2005, under the ICC regulation, which serves an automatic 12-month ban on a player whose action is found illegal twice within a two-year period.

Ghiggia dies at 88

MONTEVIDEO: Alcides Ghiggia, the former Uruguay striker who scored the goal which won the 1950 World Cup against hosts Brazil, died Thursday — 65 years to the day after his famous strike in the Maracana Stadium that traumatized a nation. Ghiggia, who was 88, died from a heart attack, his wife Beatriz confirmed to AFP. He was the last surviving member of Uruguay’s 1950 World Cup-winning team. Speaking about his match-winning goal, Ghiggia once famously told Brazilian television in an interview: “Only three men have ever silenced the Maracana — the Pope, Frank Sinatra, and me!” His second-half goal in front of 200,000 spectators in Rio de Janeiro gave Uruguay a 2-1 victory which has passed into football folklore. The defeat inflicted crushing disappointment across Brazil and still reverberates to this day, referred to simply as the “Maracanazo”, a seismic national tragedy embedded in the country’s cultural history.

Van Avermaet wins

RODEZ: Greg Van Avermaet won his first stage on the Tour de France on Friday as Peter Sagan finished second for the fourth time this year. Belgian Van Avermaet won the 198.5km 13th stage from Muret to Rodez at the end of a tough 600m climb to the finish. But it was yet more heartache for Sagan who has not won a Tour stage in two years, taking 20 top-five finishes since that last success, as Jan Bakelants was third. Race leader Chris Froome came home seventh in a group, seven seconds back, alongside all his major yellow jersey rivals.

Downing returns

LONDON: Four years after joining Liverpool for a fee of 20 million pounds ($31.21m), Stewart Downing dropped out of the top flight after signing a four-year contract to return to Middlesbrough, the Championship club said on Thursday. The 30-year-old, who made 35 appearances for England without scoring, returns to the club where he spent eight years from Premier League side West Ham United, for a fee reported to be in the region of five million pounds. “It’s an amazing signing for us. He’s more than just a player,” Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka told the second-tier club’s website. “Nobody expected him to come here, but he wants to be here, and is completely committed to the club and the team. He is a very good person and I’m excited to work with him.”