Malik hopeful

LAHORE: Former Pakistan cricket captain Salim Malik said India’s decision to pardon disgraced star Mohammad Azharuddin has raised his hopes of overturning his own life ban for match-fixing. Indian cricket authorities said on Thursday they planned to resurrect Azharuddin from a life of shame despite objections from the ICC. “I can’t tell you how happy I was on learning that Azhar’s ban will be lifted soon. It’s a ray of hope for me that I should get a similar reprieve from Pakistan,” Malik said on Friday. — AFP

Fenton retires

KINGSTON: Two-time Olympic silver medalist Lorraine Fenton, who returned from the Sydney Games with both the individual 400m and 4x400-metre relay runner-up prizes, has decided to retire from athletics. Fenton also earned individual silver medals at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships and a bronze in 1999. “I think it is now time to look forward and pass on my best wishes to the current generation,” she said. — AP

Mauresmo withdraws

ZURICH: Amelie Mauresmo withdrew from the Zurich Open on Thursday because of a shoulder injury, all but ending her chances of finishing the year as the top-ranked player. The injury could affect her defence of the season-ending WTA Championships title in Madrid next month. “I hope I will be able to play in Madrid — for me it’s an important goal,” Mauresmo said. “But I can’t say for sure I’ll be ready.” Mauresmo will have to win in Madrid and the second-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne finish last in her round-robin group if she is to finish the season as No 1. — AP

Gayle fined

MUMBAI: West Indies all rounder Chris Gayle has been fined 30 per cent of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during his team’s 10-run win over Australia in the Champions Trophy in Mumbai. Gayle, who had harsh words with Australian Michael Clarke during Wednesday’s match, was found guilty of a breach of C1 of the Code, by ICC Match Referee Mike Procter in a hearing here on Thursday. Clarke was found not guilty of the same charge in a separate hearing. — AFP